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Author Topic: Shortening Church Services??  (Read 8115 times) Average Rating: 0
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Timos
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« on: June 19, 2006, 12:14:32 AM »

Sunday school season is now over for many parishes including mine, so today many sunday school kids were either not there and the few who were seemed to be having a really hard time in church (which I believe is due to the stupid system of having sunday school from right after the gospel to before communion time).

So would it be wrong o have church services shortened?
The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is already shortened as it is because the priest is usually scrambling to finish the "private" prayers while the chanters are singing---which at one point, I've read these prayers were read/chanted aloud by the priest..

So would it be permissible to say cut out the repetitive litanies? I love the liturgy the way it is, but the way things are going, I'd say we need to do this, add some more english, or else lose all the people.

We start liturgy @ 10 sunday mornings and end by 12 if we're lucky, but with memorials it can go into 12.15-12.30 noon. I just love how Catholics have daily mass which last 45 minutes o an hour so you can still pray and get communion throughout the week but don't have to stay for very long. Again I love liturgy but it would be so much more practical if on weekdays, it could just be 45 minutes and you're out.

Does this border on sacrelige?...and I consider myself pretty traditional- my issue is not with the time spent in church (esp. on weekdays) or the content, it's with the consequences. I know so many people who'd come to liturgy every morning before work or school if it was not too long.
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2006, 12:37:46 AM »


We start liturgy @ 10 sunday mornings and end by 12 if we're lucky, but with memorials it can go into 12.15-12.30 noon. I just love how Catholics have daily mass which last 45 minutes o an hour so you can still pray and get communion throughout the week but don't have to stay for very long. Again I love liturgy but it would be so much more practical if on weekdays, it could just be 45 minutes and you're out.

I know what you mean, and especially if your standing, it can take a tole on you. Unfortunately, I cant see any way of shortening it. Like at serbian churches, people are beginning to show up late, at 11 so they only have to stay for an hour.
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2006, 01:04:08 AM »

I think that the entire liturgical service may need some form of reform, from the liturgical texts used themselves to the style and type of music applied...it just seems that while theological trends in the church may have made enormous advances in the 20th century much of the liturgical tradition has remained more or less static...the texts being limited to the Christological controversies of the early centuries and for the most part representing a creedal statement of the church's position on many of these views...

I believe that current trends in theology need to be codified into the liturgy somehow in much the same way as it was done in earlier centuries, else we remain at risk of losing many of the precious gems that have been uncovered in recent times...

Also, just as the cultural tools of the time were used to promulgate the faith so should the modern church reflect a culturally sensitive attitude in all aspects of her worship...
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2006, 01:32:29 AM »


We start liturgy @ 10 sunday mornings and end by 12 if we're lucky, but with memorials it can go into 12.15-12.30 noon. I just love how Catholics have daily mass which last 45 minutes o an hour so you can still pray and get communion throughout the week but don't have to stay for very long. Again I love liturgy but it would be so much more practical if on weekdays, it could just be 45 minutes and you're out.


I guess I'm trying to determine why it takes so long for your priest to complete the Liturgy. This morning, our GOA DL started at 9:30 and was over, including the sermon and a memorial, by 11:15. The Gospel, Lord's Prayer, and Creed were done in both languages, but the vast majority of it (90%) was in English, which in my experience seems to take longer to complete than Greek!

One priest told me that, within the GOA, the Archdiocese once had a directive that a Liturgy of St. John Crysostom should take between 1 hour 5 minutes and 1 hour 15 minutes to complete, including the sermon but not including memorials, artoklasia, etc. Perhaps the priest may have been mistaken regarding the Archdiocesan directive, but he absolutely kept the Liturgies he celebrated to those time guidelines, and in Greek he was able to complete the Liturgy basically in an hour.

Are there many people receiving the Eucharist? If so, what a blessing! Would having more deacons or priests help reduce the time for the Eucharist distribution?

Does your priest repeat a lot of the Liturgy in different languages? Chant slowly?

And, btw---I am not in favor of 'adjusting' our services. They can be completed with alacrity and IMO shortening the service to accommodate the needs of some parishioners to get out of Church more quickly is just a non-starter.

Also, just as there are no new heresies, we should not adjust the language of the Liturgy because the 'Christological controversies are not present nowadays' is not an accurate statement, especially when looking at some of the various sects out there nowadays.

However, possibly new hymns could be developed that may be introduced into Orthros or whatever that may decry things like The Da Vinci Code as long as this introduction was done properly and not independant of our hierarchs.

I think a better method to educate would be to conduct a class for the adult learners in the evening to debunk this claptrap, and continue to hold these meetings on a regular basis so the adult parishioners can get the information they need from the Church addressing their current issues instead of tinkering with the Liturgy.

It would be cool to see which Church hymns actually debunk the lies put forth in The Da Vinci Code and use them in your class. That may help to get increased attendance at Vespers/Orthros when people see that these services will help answer their questions....

But, I'm an idealist!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2006, 01:35:09 AM by chris » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2006, 08:10:03 AM »

Timos,

The minute you change the liturgy, you will have a response of what happened in the RCC after that 45 minute Mass you mentioned was introduced: nearly everyone stopped going to church! Please don't confuse more English with changing services. More English is fine, changing the Tradition of the Church is not.  Also, one can shorten the service by singing faster and executing the liturgical actions more quickly--you would be surprised how much poor liturgical celebration can lengthen a service.  I think an hour and a half is a good amount of time for Divine Liturgy.

Falafel,

I am totally opposed to what you suggest because I believe it would wreck Orthodoxy. People convert to Orthodoxy precisely because it does not have the developments you cite. I am not sure what theological advances you speak of anyway--perhaps Schmemann or Bulgakov?  I'm just asking as I don't see this idea of "progress" as something that can be defined, grasped, studied, and implemented as something that is consonant with the prior liturgical development of the Church.  Orthodox liturgy does develop, but in its own way in response to genuine need, not by liturgical comittees revising texts to meet the latest theological whims or trends.  I'm sorry if I sound harsh but after having been in a Church that does precisely the things you mention and seeing how badly such attempts fail, I am worried that this might spread into Orthodoxy.  I also simply don't have any desire to see anything about Orthodox liturgy change.

I personally find Orthodox music to be wonderful but I admit some find it strange.  Music per se could develop but again it would have to be a practical and natural development for it to be Orthodox.  At any rate, I think the way to renew Orthodoxy is to cut out the ethnocentrism by introducing more vernacular, have more outreach, better preaching that is focused on the gospel passage of the day and not just some topical sermon or worse yet, stories and jokes, having Bible studies and studies of the liturgy and why it is the way it is (it's amazing to me the history of liturgical studies), etc.  The Churches where I have seen this done have accomplished a lot--and have not needed to alter the services.  Cutting up services and changing them around, updating them, etc., is really more of a cosmetic fix in my opinon.  Forgive me if I have offended you by my bluntness.

Anastasios
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2006, 09:05:40 AM »

I think what is definitely needed here is a balanced view. That is to suggest that we simply should discard all of tradition is not what is being intimated, however to suggest at the same time that the church should remain static and forever unchanging also is not in the spirit of the fathers...Tradition was not handed to us on a plate by either Christ or the apostles but they planted the seed and the church developed and grew and progressed as it saw fit according to the wisdom, grace and discretion endowed upon it by God.

Hence the fathers introduced feasts, fasts, liturgical rites and garments, canons, iconography, horologion, monastic communities, ascetic practices, ecclesiastical architecture, music, hymns, prayers, clerical ranks, etc...

All of these were developed through the centuries according to the needs of the people that our saintly fathers served and according to what they saw fit by the grace of God...

That's why almost every ethnic church has rites which differ from any other because the fathers wisely adapted the tradition to incorporate the culture of the people and to suit the times and their very needs...

What about 21st century western culture??? I wonder the type of service the fathers would in their wisdom would have tailored to suit our needs...

No new heresies have been introduced since the Christological controversies of the 4th centuries?HuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuh?

Are you for real? Are you serious?

I think the rites of the church today need more than anything else to address the philosophical quandary of modern man...His existential angst and the anguish and despair which languishes our modern world...
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2006, 09:16:56 AM »

Quote
No new heresies have been introduced since the Christological controversies of the 4th centuries??

Are you for real? Are you serious?

That's not what I said. If you can't take the time to read what I said carefully, then I see no need to discuss this with you.

Anastasios
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2006, 09:21:47 AM »

That's not what I said. If you can't take the time to read what I said carefully, then I see no need to discuss this with you.

Anastasios

Sorry Anastasios I was actually refering to chris' comment by this statement...
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2006, 09:22:39 AM »

Sorry Anastasios I was actually refering to chris' comment by this statement...

OK. Sorry for misreading it Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2006, 09:25:40 AM »

falafel,

I guess to get a better grip on what you are saying, I'd like to pose this question:

Quote
I think the rites of the church today need more than anything else to address the philosophical quandary of modern man...His existential angst and the anguish and despair which languishes our modern world...

How do you think that the liturgy does NOT answer these problems, and what would you do to change it? I think we need some concrete ideas to discuss, otherwise we will just talk past each other.

For my part, I think the DL already answers modern man's angst. When I go to liturgy and hear the Cherubic hymn, I set aside my earthly cares in a literal way.ÂÂ  Sunday liturgy is what gets me energized enough to make it through the week. During Lent when we have presanctified, it's even better.ÂÂ  The liturgy moves me in ways I can't describe, and I am very wary of changing them even one bit because I already believe it already does such a great job.ÂÂ  You obviously feel differently so I'd like to know why.

Anastasios
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2006, 09:32:19 AM »

I don't really think the services need to be shortened. What I do think is that the music needs to be held to agreed upon musical standards and rewritten. Being the son of a cantor and somewhat knowledgable in music in general, I can assure you that service length is increased by singing:

1) Dragging out songs and hymns by adding counts to notes or by slowing down counts. My father who is getting up in years is notorious for slowing down his counts while he sings. I on the other hand keep to a musical count where half notes indeed get 2 counts and not 4.... When I sang for 8 weeks in my father's absence, the service was done 15 minutes earlier.

2) The difficulty and length of some of the feast day hymns. While the tropar and kondak and such can be relatively easy to sing, the Irmos and Glorifications generally are not (*at least not the chanted ones...). Now this may be different depending on the structure of the music (e.g. Arabic tone 1 is not the same as Russian Tone 1 which is not the same as Carpatho-Russian Tone 1). This can add to the length of the service if it is not properly reviewed ahead of time.

Note of course that the second one doesn't really apply to a choir, only a chanter/cantor. This would be the first place I would look since often it is easier to revise music and tonal structure than it is to revise a service. If you want a long service, you can visit Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago. The liturgy is routinely an hour and 45 minutes, not including memorials and/or molebens well, enough said....

-Nick
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2006, 09:40:31 AM »

Well i think you're asking a very philosophical question and perhaps a subjective one at that as well and also personal as any reflection on such a question would be each individual's interpretation of the current condition of modern man...

However, I believe that more than anything else today we need a liturgy that affirms the existence of God against the Nietzschean philosophy which tried to kill Him...We need a rite which affirms the beauty and unconditional love of God in unambiguous and emphatic terms and his sanctification of all of creation...

We need rites which address man's destiny and purpose...We need rites which address the capitalist/materialist world that we live in today, the poverty, violence and intolerance and something that over and over again emphasises the need of man's love for God as well as neighbour equally to be able to attain salvation...

If change or discarding certain elements really bothers you that much there's always the possibility of diversity...I suppose people can be very different and have different needs. Therefore, the schism you mention doesn't have to necessarily be inevitable as I believe that the church can try to accomodate the needs of of both the new and old whether this is done separately, in different services, or jointly in a single service...
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2006, 09:50:35 AM »

Here are some ideas about reducing the length of the Divine Liturgy WITHOUT shortening or deleting portions of the actual text of the Liturgy itself:

     1. Allow memorial services only on Saturdays (this is canonically what is supposed to be done anyway). This will not unnecessarily lengthen the Sunday Divine Liturgy.
     2. Curtail the laundry list of commemorations at the Great Entrance and don't drag it out. What on earth could possibly be wrong with "You and all Orthodox Christians may the Lord God remember in His kingdom." ? It's short, elegant, and says everything that needs to be said.
     3. Have the priest REFUSE to hear confessions immediately before Divine Liturgy so that the service can begin ON TIME. (Sounds harsh, but I have seen parishes where it works.)
     4. Have the choir director sit down with the priest and plan music that can be sung straightforwardly and quickly with good enunciation. Why we must sing Cherubic Hymns that last almost 15 minutes is beyond me!
     5. Have the Divine Liturgy begin exactly at the time appointed. (my priest is wonderful about that.)
     6. A concise, well prepared homily on the Gospel reading for the day that lasts no longer than 10 minutes can help.
     7. Refuse to drag everything out at the conclusion of the Liturgy with endless announcements, "Many years" sung for every conceivable reason, travel blessings, ad nauseum. I have seen parishes where that stuff alone adds 15 or 20 more minutes to the service.
     8. Let the Divine Liturgy END with the veneration of the cross and don't have the readers drag it out for 20 more minutes reading the post-communion prayers. Encourage the faithful to read these prayers at home.
     9. Hope you have a priest that doesn't insist on reading every one of the priest's secret prayers aloud and very slowly.
   10. Be patient and tolerate stuff. Smiley

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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2006, 09:53:44 AM »

I think that the entire liturgical service may need some form of reform, from the liturgical texts used themselves to the style and type of music applied...it just seems that while theological trends in the church may have made enormous advances in the 20th century much of the liturgical tradition has remained more or less static...the texts being limited to the Christological controversies of the early centuries and for the most part representing a creedal statement of the church's position on many of these views...


My comment about the Christological controversies was in disagreement to what you wrote in the above paragraph. As I read it, it seemed like you were saying that the liturgical texts needed change because newer theological trends have occurred, and the last paragraph seems to indicate you feel that the Liturgy could be changed since our Liturgy does much to teach of the Triune nature of God and not those 'newer trends'.

My quote:

Quote
Also, just as there are no new heresies, we should not adjust the language of the Liturgy because the 'Christological controversies are not present nowadays' is not an accurate statement, especially when looking at some of the various sects out there nowadays.

indicates that I do not agree with this assertion, and so your statement:

Quote
No new heresies have been introduced since the Christological controversies of the 4th centuries??

Are you for real? Are you serious?

is actually in agreement with mine, even though it contradicts what I thought was the statement you were making in the beginning.
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2006, 10:41:11 AM »

Although often maligned for doing so, Byzantine Catholics have been abbreviating services for many years.  Common usage today is:

no little litanies bewteen the antiphons, of which we only take one verse

Troparia are usually limited to three, one troparia, one kontakion, one theotokion (Rusyn Custom)

no litanies of the catechumens or faithful or offering, the priest simply takes the prayers silently.

And the fact that Prostopinje is pretty simple and doesn't drag out gives you a Sunday Divine Liturgy that is about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.

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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2006, 12:35:39 PM »

Am I the only one who thinks services are over too quickly?   Cheesy  I think we should make them longer.  But this may be because 1)I've only been Orthodox for a few years and 2) I don't have children.
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2006, 12:55:31 PM »

Our Sunday DL usually lasts 1:45 excluding memorial/commemoration stuff.  Unfortunately, due to having a reasonably sized well established parish, there are a bunch of older people, of which I think many have died off in the last 10 years.

Things we do that do NOT lengthen the service:
1.  Sing/Chant at a reasonable pace and not slow and drawn out.
2.  Have 2 or even 3 Communion lines (Yes, we frequently have 3 priests, although I have no idea how long it will last).
3.  We DO read the post-Communion prayers, but this happens DURING the cross veneration and does zilch to lengthen the time in church.  Besides, not everyone stays in the church after they venerate the cross.
4.  Only a couple of mass (meaning general) commemorations during the Great Entrance.  It is an OCA parish, so no long procession like which usually happens in Antiochian parishes (GOA too?).

Things we do that DO add length:
1.  Chant verses during the Beatitudes (we do this 90+% of the time - rubrics say so and our priest is conservative and the bishop emphasizes these).
2.  Sermon sometimes goes longer than planned.  They say they try to keep it to 10 minutes, but it doesn't always happen.
3.  We almost always do all the litanies between the Gospel and Cherubic Hymn.  On Pentecost, the sermon was shorter and we only did the augmented litany...and liturgy ended promptly at 11:30 and we went immediately into the kneeling Vespers.
4.  Memorials/Commemorations can push things over the 2 hr mark occasionally.  Unfortunately, the family of those for memorials would just not come on a Saturday.


Re: long Cherubic hymn.
There certainly WOULD be a reason to have a really long Cherubic hymn...if there is some big Hierarchical brouha with a grace of Bishops (I made that up for a group) - especially if a Patriarch is there.  If it is a regular DL or even a HDL with one bishop, I don't see why it should be any longer than 5 min though.
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2006, 12:59:39 PM »

Am I the only one who thinks services are over too quickly?  ÃƒÆ’‚ Cheesy  I think we should make them longer.

Well, we could always go back to the apex of the Cathedral Rite of Hagia Sophia, during which time it appears that the Kiss of Peace alone took about one hour.
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2006, 04:25:33 PM »

Why would you want to shorten services and spend less time in church?!?  Seriously, why would you do that if God is really the most important thing in your life? And if He's not, then all this is just a charade and there's not much point in coming at all.
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2006, 05:27:14 PM »

Like at serbian churches, people are beginning to show up late, at 11 so they only have to stay for an hour.

The same in some Greek & Antiochian parishes.  It's just like the midnight Pascha service, in many Greek churches, after the priest proclaims ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΙ the church empties out.
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2006, 05:37:43 PM »

I attend an OCA parish (very much like Elisha describes) and our Sunday Divine Liturgy takes about an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes. I don't have a problem with that length at all. And to be honest, I've never heard anyone in my parish complain about the length of services either. There is NO PRESSURE put on our priest to shorten the services.
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« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2006, 12:56:49 AM »

Why would you want to shorten services and spend less time in church?!?ÂÂ  Seriously, why would you do that if God is really the most important thing in your life? And if He's not, then all this is just a charade and there's not much point in coming at all.

Zebu, because I've got a sister who's a lot younger than me so iss like having a child...and she complains and has to take breaks throughout. I personally love the DL as it is- ansd going back to what Anastasios was saying, I am not in favour of a reform of Liturgy. I'm in favour of doing what some parishes do, where for example the litanies bewteen aniphons are cut out. I just wonder why not too many people my age or oyunger come to church regularly, its only a handful and the rest come here and there or art pascha Christmas, and definitelty the panygiri (festival/feast of church's saint).

As for shorter services, I was also being specific to weekdays where people have work and might no be able to stay for 2 hours in church on a sunday morning (ie. restaurant/food business people-like half the church including my parents until some time ago).
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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2006, 01:06:24 AM »

The Ethiopian Liturgy runs about 2 1/2 hours standard in American parishes and over 3 hours in any of Ethiopia's 30 thousand parishes and Churches.

No complaints...

Ethiopia has been a Christian country since the 4th century. Thus the church activity is life itself (The Church was one with the government up to 1979). Ethiopia has very little Muslims and other religions remain small and are more effected by the Ethiopian Church culturally.

In America people who are late (after the Holy Gospel) they can not take communion. In America their are strict parishes that will close the doors to the sanctuary during and after the reading of the Holy Gospel until the benediction is over. This is common practice in Ethiopia particularly in the rural areas. People are very excepting of this and will not enter a church service late anyway; but Will simply pray outside or in the parish house.  This is mainly to control tourist that visit the churches these days.

When the liturgy ends people are very slow to leave the sanctuary. The deacons try to politely encourage people to leave. But people remain reading psalms and meditating.

I am unfamiliar with any kind of interest in shortening the service in the Ethiopian Churches. In America that may be likely but not something anyone would want to put forth.

I pray that the worship of God remain in the Orthodox Churches. Worship without concern for the world which is time.

The Angels pray without ceasing and they are already in paradise...Hallelujah!!!.

I work way beyond 5 pm on special projects, I watch sports even if they go into overtime. And I have never heard someone complain that their vacation should be cut short to make more time for work.

WE need to place our priorities in Christ.

We should be worshipping God from sun up to sun down on Sundays in my opinion.
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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2006, 10:33:12 AM »

Right. Have a child and your perspective will probably change a wee-bit.
It doesn't help if your child has secularistic tendencies and already questions God's existence from a young age and your church's liturgy is in ancient greek except for the gospel, creed, our father, and sermon.

On the one hand, the parishes which use only/mostly greek lose younger people, but then the monasteries which use all greek attract lots of young people...I think we also need more sermons that hit home, like the ones Fr. Chris Metropoulos does (from Come Receive the Light).
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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2006, 11:31:23 AM »

At the end of our five hour services for Christmas and Pascha, Metropolitan Pavlos (who is recuperating after the stroke) usually says something to the children along the lines of this:

http://www.hotca.org/audio/english/EN_010706_HOTCA_MPAV.mp3

I think this goes a long way with some of the children to hear the bishop thanking them for persevering.  He also once thanked my wife for coming; he told her, "I know it must be hard on you to hear so much Greek yet you come anyway. Thank you."

Anastasios
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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2006, 06:37:25 PM »

The same in some Greek & Antiochian parishes.  It's just like the midnight Pascha service, in many Greek churches, after the priest proclaims ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΙ the church empties out.

Maybe in 'many', but not in ours.  Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2006, 07:52:31 PM »

Probably the solution here will be in customization. Shorter services in some parishes, longer ones in others.
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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2006, 07:54:57 PM »

Metropolitan Pavlos (who is recuperating after the stroke)
Great to hear that he feels better. Thanks, Anastasios.
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2006, 07:56:27 PM »

Probably the solution here will be in customization. Shorter services in some parishes, longer ones in others.

Yeah, but in some parishes it might cause a schism. ÂÂ
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2006, 08:02:49 PM »

Yeah, but in some parishes it might cause a schism. 

What if in order to avoid that, (2) liturgies will be celebrated? As long as there is more then (1)priest. Another solution, my parish during that time when I lived in Washington, (St. Andrew's Cathedral), has a pro-liturgy once a month especially for children. It lasts about (30) minutes. The time is right before the regular Sunday Liturgy. Therefore, it does not substitutes the Liturgy and serves as an additional varaint, instead of a replacement. St. Andrew's Cathedral has (1) priest and (1) protodeacon.
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« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2006, 08:47:12 PM »

What if in order to avoid that, (2) liturgies will be celebrated? As long as there is more then (1)priest.

That would be good if we had enough priests, which from what I hear, all jurisdictions need more.  I know of several parishes that have services once or twice per month if a priest is willing to travel from his distant parish.
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« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2006, 09:02:58 PM »

Great to hear that he feels better. Thanks, Anastasios.

It's a long recovery--thanks for your prayers and well wishes.  Apparently, he is now fully cognizant, can speak with difficulty, and is regaining some use of his thumb on the right side, which is paralyzed (I am not sure how that all works!).  Anyway, we are hoping he will return to his position as our Metropolitan but time will tell if God wills it.

Anastasios
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« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2006, 09:49:53 PM »

Probably the solution here will be in customization. Shorter services in some parishes, longer ones in others.

No Way! "N" "O"
Please pardon me if I have a knee-jerk reaction to a suggestion that has protestant/neo-Catholic written all over it; I've just spent a lot of time reading some Episcopal threads.  I was Episcopalian for a short while.  Their solution for these sorts of problems was always two different services or two parishes in the same city offering allternitives.  It works in the short run, but in the long run there is a schism and falling outs.  We stick together at all cost- I don't mind listening to fussy, crancky children, it reminds me that there is a future Orthodox generation to raise up.
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« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2006, 11:23:11 PM »

To refer back to page one:

I always hear that the Vatican II shortened mass in English is responsible for emptying the Catholic churches. That is very simplistic. There was a cultural revolution going on at about the same time in America, quite independent of Vatican II. If the new mass was the culprit, how to explain the membership exodus of other churches from other communions? And what about our Orthodox churches? I hear all the time about when there were a bunch of altar boys, full attendance every week and packed to the gills on holidays.

Primarily, the liberals went gooey and stupid-hip-relevant and lost young people (and adults) with offering nothing secular song-writers and self-help books didn't already offer better and in a more entertaining and convenient package.

Conservative churches put their collective heads in the sand and tried to pretend the cultural tsunami wasn't engulfing them or their kids.

And poof! America became a post-Christian country.

I give the evangelicals credit for trying to maintain traditional doctrine while creating program-oriented churches to retain their people. Alot of times it worked too. And, face it, Protestants are the majority in the US and evangelicals should at least get some credit for stemming the cultural tide. Everyone can bark that they aren't the "true" levy (church); they weren't built by by the army corp of engineers (apostolic succession); but they have been some damn good sandbags, haven't they!
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« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2006, 11:29:33 PM »

all jurisdictions need more.ÂÂ  
Psalti,
Yes, that is a serious problem. Looks like situation slowly changes for better. But slowly, as I said.

I know of several parishes that have services once or twice per month if a priest is willing to travel from his distant parish.
Thanks God. I mean, better then nothing. The continuation may bring more improvement. Of course, not always, but many parishes started that way.
It's a long recovery--thanks for your prayers and well wishes.ÂÂ  Apparently, he is now fully cognizant, can speak with difficulty, and is regaining some use of his thumb on the right side, which is paralyzed (I am not sure how that all works!).ÂÂ  Anyway, we are hoping he will return to his position as our Metropolitan but time will tell if God wills it.

Anastasios
Anastasios,
You are very welcome. Appears to be a great improvement. Glad to hear.

No Way! "N" "O"
Please pardon me if I have a knee-jerk reaction to a suggestion that has protestant/neo-Catholic written all over it; I've just spent a lot of time reading some Episcopal threads.ÂÂ  I was Episcopalian for a short while.ÂÂ  Their solution for these sorts of problems was always two different services or two parishes in the same city offering allternitives.ÂÂ  It works in the short run, but in the long run there is a schism and falling outs.ÂÂ  We stick together at all cost- I don't mind listening to fussy, crancky children, it reminds me that there is a future Orthodox generation to raise up.
Seraphim,
I also don't mind children in a church. I agree that they are future of Orthodoxy. Hopefully, I will get my own one day...
Actually, don't you think that the problem with Episcopalians comes from the fact that they did not establish an exact border line between theologumena and heresy. Theologumenas are needed, but not a heresy, of course. As a result, some people promote ideas, which cannot be supported by others. Honestly, some of these ideas seem totally strange.
Instead, when you have different traditions in various parsihes with the same dedication to Orthodox theology,ÂÂ  - that would not hurt. This would be just a difference in customs, so to speak. And for technical reasons, (lack of priests, etc.) it cannot be always a solution.
There is no reason to fall out just because of the length of the service.
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« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2006, 11:55:33 PM »

I'm not so much in favour of "parochial customization" although I don't doubt it has some merits. What I am in favour for is a youth/children liturgy once a month in english with all the the same hymns/chants and prayers as regular Divine Liturgy but the simplified texts and melodies. For example, Eikona has produced a short casete of simple church hymns with their traditional byzantine melodies that anyone can sing. Sure, they don't sound as beautiful as the longer, more texturized chants, but if it works for kids, that what matters because if they try to "get it" at a young age, there won't be any chanter standing in the psaltiri in 20 years time.

Twice a year our priest does an all english liturgy and its really nice. The last time he did it, he brought a portable altar and some pews were positioned sideways so that the kids could see everything what was going on. Of course that would not be practical nor proper for a regular liturgical usage, but the english language and simple byzantine melodies sure would help if put in place regularly.
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« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2006, 01:07:07 AM »

You guys want to shorten the Liturgy. Why don't we ask our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to shorten the Liturgy to 30 mintues.  By cuting the Liturgy in half and cutting out Communion. this should make people happy
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« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2006, 02:01:07 AM »

Quote
You guys want to shorten the Liturgy. Why don't we ask our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to shorten the Liturgy to 30 mintues.  By cuting the Liturgy in half and cutting out Communion. this should make people happy

Perhaps I'm going out on a limb here, but does communion really take that long in your parish? 
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« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2006, 11:39:57 AM »

 
You guys want to shorten the Liturgy. Why don't we ask our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to shorten the Liturgy to 30 mintues.ÂÂ  By cuting the Liturgy in half and cutting out Communion. this should make people happy

Excuse me Fr. Paul, but I haven't read any comments on anyone wanting to cut the litugy in half or cutting out communion so I assume you were being sarcastic. More english would certainly help and for children liturgies, I know some priests urge the chanter not to take their time on all the chants so it doesn't seem to drag on and on for the kids. Another method is to make the children learn the  hymns (except for maybe the Cherubic Hymn and the kontakion etc) before hand and then they are really the choir, which I've heard countless times was the original practise.
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« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2006, 05:19:41 PM »

Things we do that do NOT lengthen the service:
1.  Sing/Chant at a reasonable pace and not slow and drawn out.
2.  Have 2 or even 3 Communion lines (Yes, we frequently have 3 priests, although I have no idea how long it will last).
3.  We DO read the post-Communion prayers, but this happens DURING the cross veneration and does zilch to lengthen the time in church.  Besides, not everyone stays in the church after they venerate the cross.
4.  Only a couple of mass (meaning general) commemorations during the Great Entrance.  It is an OCA parish, so no long procession like which usually happens in Antiochian parishes (GOA too?).

Things we do that DO add length:
1.  Chant verses during the Beatitudes (we do this 90+% of the time - rubrics say so and our priest is conservative and the bishop emphasizes these).
2.  Sermon sometimes goes longer than planned.  They say they try to keep it to 10 minutes, but it doesn't always happen.
3.  We almost always do all the litanies between the Gospel and Cherubic Hymn.  On Pentecost, the sermon was shorter and we only did the augmented litany...and liturgy ended promptly at 11:30 and we went immediately into the kneeling Vespers.
4.  Memorials/Commemorations can push things over the 2 hr mark occasionally.  Unfortunately, the family of those for memorials would just not come on a Saturday.

I'm a member of a sister OCA parish of Elisha's and his comments track very closely with my own experience, except for the multiple communion lines.  We experimented with this at one time, but I don't think our Rector liked it much.  Anyway, DL lasts about 1:40, about 1:50 or so during Great Lent.  Maybe it's an OCA thing. 

Tikhon mentioned this one:

Quote
5. Have the Divine Liturgy begin exactly at the time appointed. (my priest is wonderful about that.)

Our DL almost never starts precisely on time.  My friends and I call this flexible beginning "Orthodox Time."  As the Assistant Priest at my parish once said, "Whatever time the Divine Liturgy starts, that's 9 o'clock."   Wink

On the other hand, in the Episcopal parish I belonged to before my conversion starting late was considered the Eighth Deadly Sin.  And if the service should last more than 1:05....!  Shocked
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« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2006, 06:20:18 PM »

The last parish I was in was a "convert parish," of mostly Episcopalians.  Around the same time as their tenth anniversary as Orthodox Christians they had started having trouble starting on time.  I think they were proud of this, as it was a sign that they were truely Orthodox.  :-)  He told me the same thing when I expressed my frustrations- the last year or so I've began having such trouble being on time- I'm Orthodox!
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« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2006, 06:25:21 PM »

Actually, don't you think that the problem with Episcopalians comes from the fact that they did not establish an exact border line between theologumena and heresy. Theologumenas are needed, but not a heresy, of course. As a result, some people promote ideas, which cannot be supported by others. Honestly, some of these ideas seem totally strange.
Instead, when you have different traditions in various parsihes with the same dedication to Orthodox theology,ÂÂ  - that would not hurt. This would be just a difference in customs, so to speak. And for technical reasons, (lack of priests, etc.) it cannot be always a solution.
There is no reason to fall out just because of the length of the service.

I don't think the problems in the Episcopal Church USA started with heresy, I think heresy was a result.  I think the problem was began by a desire to cater to the needs of the people in a non-spiritual way.  It was the "we can all live under the same roof but have different worship customs" thing.  It was a lack of dissipline that gave the reconstructionist an inch, and from that they took a mile.  But once again, fears such as these are the things you have when you used to be Episcopalian at one time.
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« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2006, 06:34:49 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9299.msg125122#msg125122 date=1150869667]
Perhaps I'm going out on a limb here, but does communion really take that long in your parish?ÂÂ  
[/quote]

It depends on what Church you belong to /Some of them don't have to many Parisheners amd some have a larg group of Parisheners
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« Reply #43 on: June 21, 2006, 06:56:41 PM »


Excuse me Fr. Paul, but I haven't read any comments on anyone wanting to cut the liturgy in half or cutting out communion so I assume you were being sarcastic. More English would certainly help and for children liturgies, I know some priests urge the chanter not to take their time on all the chants so it doesn't seem to drag on and on for the kids. Another method is to make the children learn theÂÂ  hymns (except for maybe the Cherubic Hymn and the kontakion etc) before hand and then they are really the choir, which I've heard countless times was the original practise.

Yes I was being sarcastic.  When my former Jurisdiction had a Church here in California in the City of El Monte it was parishioner'sthat were the Choir. and they made the liturgy go fast. as for shorting the Liturgy  as some have said I just added the comments of cutting the Liturgy in half and not do communion. Grin
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« Reply #44 on: June 21, 2006, 07:59:23 PM »

The last parish I was in was a "convert parish," of mostly Episcopalians.ÂÂ  Around the same time as their tenth anniversary as Orthodox Christians they had started having trouble starting on time.ÂÂ  I think they were proud of this, as it was a sign that they were truely Orthodox.ÂÂ  :-)ÂÂ  He told me the same thing when I expressed my frustrations- the last year or so I've began having such trouble being on time- I'm Orthodox!

Lol.  Truly Orthodox, indeed! 

Another sure sign that you're on your way:  When those Holy Week services stop feeling quite so looooooooooong and you start thinking, "It's over already?" 
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