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#345518 03/18/10 10:13 PM
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Went to it last night and got a good workout. Someone told me it has 72 prostrations, but I'm not sure. I was sweating by the end though and I loved it. Did anyone else attend ?

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Wouldn't be a proper Great Fast without Poklony. We sang Vespers with the 24 penitential Stikhera and went right into the Matins with the Great Canon.

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Originally Posted by Lawrence

Went to it last night and got a good workout. Someone told me it has 72 prostrations, but I'm not sure. I was sweating by the end though and I loved it. Did anyone else attend ?


Yes! The parish I attended also had the reading of the Life of St Mary of Egypt with Great Canon last night. It was just under 3 hours. Their matushka did all the reading for the Life of St Mary of Egypt, wonderfully done, in 3 or 4 sections, each still quite long. I wanted to thank her afterward for her reading but didn't find her. They had the Great Canon along with Great Compline back during the first week of Great Lent.

It is a work out. I can feel it today going up stairs. smile Back in Oct. I broke my wrist, which required surgery, and it still swells sometimes. I probably look a little strange holding it above my heart during long Liturgies. I was happy to discover starting back the first week in Great Lent that I could manage to bear weight on it for the repeated prostrations.

I was very much reflecting last night on the gratitude I feel for being able to share in these liturgies, which my tiny parish does not have. I'm so fortunate to have this parish which welcomes me on these occasions...

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We had our service last night and had AMAZING attendance. It ran about 4 hours, I think. I was honored with doing the reading of the Life of St. Mary of Egypt. We did ours in two sections, so it was pretty long.

I was lucky enough to attend. Our spring break starts today but I left a day early.

It is indeed a work out. I broke my foot in December (Christmas Ever :() and had surgery to put in a metal plate. It has been fully healed for a month, but I feel the burn. I like to think of it as a Liturgical Marathon.

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I usually do not post but have been a reader for years. Yesterday was my first time and, I must admit, I was not ready for so many prostrations! Our service began at 4am and I think the sleepiness combined with being "slightly" out of shape did not help. I should have brought a little pillow or something because my knees are sore! Very inspiring and beautiful though.

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Originally Posted by Lawrence
Went to it last night and got a good workout. Someone told me it has 72 prostrations, but I'm not sure. I was sweating by the end though and I loved it. Did anyone else attend ?

There are 250 troparia in the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete. Allowing for the the troparia that do not have the refrain 'Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me' (i.e. 2 troparia to St Mary of Egypt, the troparion to St Andrew, the troparion on 'Glory... and the theotokion on 'Both now"') that is stil way more than 72 prostrations.

Fr David Straut

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We did it in a little over an hour. Can't remember exactly how Father explained it, but he did say there were alot more at one time and that it's been shortened over the centuries.

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Originally Posted by Lawrence
We did it in a little over an hour. Can't remember exactly how Father explained it, but he did say there were alot more at one time and that it's been shortened over the centuries.

Well, Lawrence, I think it's better to tell the truth. The truth, in this case, is that there were and still are 250 troparia in the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete. Let's be honest, for pastoral reasons, because of the weakness of the clergy and the people, the service may be shortened in certain ways. (In my own parish, we did the Great Canon in the service of Small Compline rather than Matins, and so the service was only three hours long instead of the four and a half hours it would have taken in the context of Matins with the First Hour.) In some cases the priest (or even his bishop) may decide upon an even more radical course of action by cutting portions of the Great Canon itself because of the general physical and spiritual weakness of the flock (and, alas, its shepherds). But I think it is best not to pretend that there has been a centuries long process of troparia being cut until we only possess a fraction of them today. They are still there in the Triodion waiting to be prayed by the faithful.

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There should be 203 prostrations during the Great Canon if they accompany every "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me" refrain.


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
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Disclaimer: I was simply posting the number of prostrations in a full service, no judgement on those who abbreviate the service for pastoral considerations or those who cannot make prostrations at all was intended.


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.

Moderated by  Alice, Father Deacon Ed, theophan 

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