Author Topic: Protestantized Communion Hymns?  (Read 7638 times)

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Offline theoforos

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Re: Protestantized Communion Hymns?
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2005, 03:39:42 PM »
And as for not having organs, is that just a function of how the Slavic churches have developed in this country?ÂÂ  I know that the organs had their inroads into the Greek churches only in this country, and only because of the circumstances of how the Greeks found their churches.

I don't know if this is of any help, but I haven't been to any Orthodox churches that have an organ in Finland, Russia, Estonia or Latvia, nor have I heard of any church having an organ in those countries, which are all part of the Slavic tradition. Here it is usually referred to as something "Greek" or "American" to have an organ.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Protestantized Communion Hymns?
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2005, 03:48:50 PM »
I don't know if this is of any help, but I haven't been to any Orthodox churches that have an organ in Finland, Russia, Estonia or Latvia, nor have I heard of any church having an organ in those countries, which are all part of the Slavic tradition. Here it is usually referred to as something "Greek" or "American" to have an organ.   

Maybe, more aptly, "Greek-American," for there wasn't an organ in any Church that I went to in Greece (heck, they'd never even think about it).

And if no one has ever seen it in a Slavic church before, then I'm going to assume my source was completely wrong (and it wouldn't be the first time he was).
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Stavro

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Re: Protestantized Communion Hymns?
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2005, 03:54:12 PM »
Timos,
the description of the communion hymns (or songs) you gave are most unconventional for a Coptic Orthodox, as EA pointed out. Are you sure it was a Coptic Orthodox Church, mentioning the name of H.H. Pope Shenouda in the Fathers litany ?

I wanted to comment on the Catholicity of the Church. The Church is universal because of its universal faith and not because of its common rites and traditions. To insist on one rite and try to impose it on other groups is certainly not an orthodox behavior and lacks proper understanding of history, evangelism and many aspects of the faith. In fact, it is stumbling block for unbelievers who consider joining the Church, without any reason. Starting with language, it would be sad if a priest decides to preach in a foreign language to a group. As for the concelebrated liturgy of the OO churches in Coptic, it was conducted in Coptic rites because of logistics, as to cut and paste different parts of different liturgies including the litanies, the anaphora,the sanctification of the Body and Blood was not considered feasible. There is no supremacy of any OO tradition over the other, as they all share the same faith and Tradition. Next year, it will be held in a Syrian Church and the liturgy will be in Syrian.

Coptic, Syrian,Indian, Ethiopian, Greek, Russian, Serbian,.... is a race and not a faith. Culture is the donkey that Christ rides to enter our communities, as an Albanian scholar once said. The evangelism in Africa by the OO churches, and I am familiar with the Coptic efforts there, proved this point. Africans have different traditions, prefer body movement in their expression of their faith, and they have different hymns and melodies that go with their heritage. The Coptic Church did not try to impose the Coptic rites on them. I do not believe they will connect with a 30-minute "Bek Ethronos" or "Omonoganees" hymns. There was no compromise on the Orthodox Faith, and this is what counts. Although I would prefer a Coptic liturgy over any other liturgy, I enjoyed watching an African liturgy as I saw the deep spirituality that the congregation expressed through their worship.

Once the West has orthodox congregations that are not ethnically Coptic, Syrian, Ethiopian, Indian, people who have another culture, a western theologically sound liturgy from their heritage will be adopted as the British Orthodox Church did.   
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Protestantized Communion Hymns?
« Reply #48 on: December 13, 2005, 04:02:31 PM »
I wanted to comment on the Catholicity of the Church. The Church is universal because of its universal faith and not because of its common rites and traditions. To insist on one rite and try to impose it on other groups is certainly not an orthodox behavior and lacks proper understanding of history, evangelism and many aspects of the faith. In fact, it is stumbling block for unbelievers who consider joining the Church, without any reason. Starting with language, it would be sad if a priest decides to preach in a foreign language to a group. As for the concelebrated liturgy of the OO churches in Coptic, it was conducted in Coptic rites because of logistics, as to cut and paste different parts of different liturgies including the litanies, the anaphora,the sanctification of the Body and Blood was not considered feasible. There is no supremacy of any OO tradition over the other, as they all share the same faith and Tradition. Next year, it will be held in a Syrian Church and the liturgy will be in Syrian.   

This is one aspect of the "Universal Church" idea that you're covering - liturgical practice.  But another is ecclesiology - "Universal Church" leads to a catholic Papist ecclesiological structure, which in turn adds to/contributes to the universal liturgical tradition.  Versus in the Orthodox Church, when the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" is contained wholly in the local community (Bishop, presbyters, deacons, and the Church of the ordained faithful - the people who are chrismated), and is contained wholly in the communion between the local Churches (through commemorations, synods, maintaining the true faith, and the diptychs of the autocephalous heads).

Coptic, Syrian,Indian, Ethiopian, Greek, Russian, Serbian,.... is a race and not a faith. Culture is the donkey that Christ rides to enter our communities, as an Albanian scholar once said. The evangelism in Africa by the OO churches, and I am familiar with the Coptic efforts there, proved this point. Africans have different traditions, prefer body movement in their expression of their faith, and they have different hymns and melodies that go with their heritage. The Coptic Church did not try to impose the Coptic rites on them. I do not believe they will connect with a 30-minute "Bek Ethronos" or "Omonoganees" hymns. There was no compromise on the Orthodox Faith, and this is what counts. Although I would prefer a Coptic liturgy over any other liturgy, I enjoyed watching an African liturgy as I saw the deep spirituality that the congregation expressed through their worship.   

Let's not make all of the terms that are considered "ethnic" to really be "ethnic" - then we fall into the trap that the devil wants us to.  The "Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch" is not an ethnically Greek bishop - but is rather a Bishop in a Church that is in the "Greek/Roman" liturgical and ecclesiological tradition.  Same with the original idea of "Roman" - it wasn't an ethnicity, just as Greek wasn't.  But modern ethnocentrism and nationalism want us to think of them that way.  What we should do is try to divorce the ethnic identity from the words like "Greek" or "Roman" or whatnot, and give them back the meaning that they've held for so long.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Timos

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Re: Protestantized Communion Hymns?
« Reply #49 on: December 13, 2005, 05:26:42 PM »
Stavro, yes this occuredi n a very popular Coptic Orthodox church in my city. H.H. Shenouda even went to visit this parish to bless it etc. The song beign sung is apparently a popular Coptic hymn NOT a chant. It is as follows

"Watching us hearing us, loving us, she could never possibly forget us. She's St. Mary Mother of Jesus who saved us. We're her children and she's always guiding us. She's in heaven when she appears to her children everywhere...." Its not that it isn't orthodox in nature or anything, just not highly traditional. Also other hyumns being sung @ this parish during communion time are hymns such as Amazing Grace, As the Deer Panteths for the Water, Our God is an Awesome God. Also during the homily, the priest sometiems does a play with some of the altar boys /"deacons" or congregants to make a point.

However everything else about this parish is traditional. Mostly families are not segregated according to sex as it was say 10 years ago,although they all sit in the middle aisles rather than the "women's section" like its infected with some ludicrous disease. Women usually are veiled when taking communion and go after men...just like in traditional EO monasteries.

At another Coptic parish, I hear an organ on one or two occassions being played but it actually sounded really nice as it was a choir singing rather than a bunch of off-tune boys and old men.

At the Greek church, the choir was singing "On Eagles Wings" I know that for sure. Sry I was not clear. The preist was only checking for the "Ave Maria" in latin..the other song was sung for sure. Why would we sing Ave Maria, when we could sing "Theotoke Parthene Khere" "Hail Virgin Theotokos"?

We also once used the Tikey Zes Greek version of the polyphonic chant "Soma Christou" Body of Christ, Come Recieve from the Fountain of Imortality" which I believe is more popular in Slavic churches.


Offline Timos

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Re: Protestantized Communion Hymns?
« Reply #50 on: December 13, 2005, 05:28:36 PM »
Oh yeah, and another song I heard @ the Coptic church was a Jewish song called "Hinai Matov" "How good it is for brethren to dwell togwether in unity." It is a biblical yet also popular Jewish song.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Protestantized Communion Hymns?
« Reply #51 on: December 13, 2005, 06:28:58 PM »
Oh yeah, and another song I heard @ the Coptic church was a Jewish song called "Hinai Matov" "How good it is for brethren to dwell togwether in unity." It is a biblical yet also popular Jewish song.   

It is a psalm verse.  My bishop actually likes the tune they put to it...
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline serb1389

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Re: Protestantized Communion Hymns?
« Reply #52 on: December 16, 2005, 12:38:17 AM »
Cleveland, no Slavic church i've EVER been to has had an organ.  OCA might be different though...havn't seen too many of those.  But the ones I have were very "traditional" in that sense.  This of course does not mean that they don't exist.  There's always an acception to the rule..haha.  Most Serbian churches, especially in Serbia, are now using St. Nikolai's (Velimirovic) Spiritual Songs as communion hymns.  Which is great because we are using orthodox poetry, which is also uplifting as the congregation communes. 
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Offline Stavro

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Re: Protestantized Communion Hymns?
« Reply #53 on: December 19, 2005, 05:28:14 PM »
Tiimos,
Quote
Stavro, yes this occuredi n a very popular Coptic Orthodox church in my city. H.H. Shenouda even went to visit this parish to bless it etc. The song beign sung is apparently a popular Coptic hymn NOT a chant. It is as follows
"Watching us hearing us, loving us, she could never possibly forget us. She's St. Mary Mother of Jesus who saved us. We're her children and she's always guiding us. She's in heaven when she appears to her children everywhere...." Its not that it isn't orthodox in nature or anything, just not highly traditional. Also other hyumns being sung @ this parish during communion time are hymns such as Amazing Grace, As the Deer Panteths for the Water, Our God is an Awesome God. Also during the homily, the priest sometiems does a play with some of the altar boys /"deacons" or congregants to make a point.
I recognize the song about the Theotokos St.Mary and the "jewish" song. They are usually chanted in meetings and conventions, the first song during the Theotokos two-week lent in August and her various feasts, but rarely as communion hymns and songs. When such songs are chanted during communion, it is usually because communion took a very long time and deacons ran out of traditional hymns. This is very rare because of the abundance of hymns and the ability to extend their time. I personally would object to singing "Amazing Grace" in a liturgical setting, for I believe there is no need to abondon our heritage and introduce foreign songs in our church. Although not pertaining to the faith, it teaches the youth that it is OK to incorporate foreign elements of praising in the church. There is simply no need for this too.
Covering the head for ladies and women is also traditional in the Coptic Church since the time of St.Mark,. Separation between men and women is very well perserved in Egypt during liturgy by the laymen, and to a reasonable extent during liturgy in our churches in the West. I personally think it should be, because they are part of the Apostolic canons that were handed down by the Apostles and I see no reason to abondon it. The Pope has a place in the church, the bishop has one, the priests have another and so on until the smallest rank of chanters. It applies to men and women as well.

Cleveland,
Quote
Let's not make all of the terms that are considered "ethnic" to really be "ethnic" - then we fall into the trap that the devil wants us to.  The "Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch" is not an ethnically Greek bishop - but is rather a Bishop in a Church that is in the "Greek/Roman" liturgical and ecclesiological tradition.  Same with the original idea of "Roman" - it wasn't an ethnicity, just as Greek wasn't.  But modern ethnocentrism and nationalism want us to think of them that way.  What we should do is try to divorce the ethnic identity from the words like "Greek" or "Roman" or whatnot, and give them back the meaning that they've held for so long.
I believe the meaning they held is one of "faith" and "culture", or expressing the faith by praise and worship in certain cultural ways that people can relate too. I was pointing to the fact that as long as the faith is perserved, each cultural group should express the faith in the matter that relates to their culture.

The model for ecclesiology you described is the Orthodox model, and it is universal and catholic, no matter what understanding the Roman Church draws from the words or how it modified it. I do not believe there is any disagreement.
In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)