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Indeed so, Father, one of the real problems in coming to grips with Orthodox 'unity' in the Americas can be found in that very diversity of regional practice. The 'my Orthodoxy is more Orthodox than your Orthodoxy' has vexed us for generations.

BTW, it isn't just the CR's that have that lack of excitement, I think we share it with other Slavs, including the Ukrainians.

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Bless, Father David,

Excellent points. As one old enough to remember Tenebrae, and having served it as a young altar boy, it was a particularly moving service.

At the moment when the church was ultimately plunged into darkness and absolute silence reigned, the senior acolyte had the responsibility of striking the crotalus or clapper - remembering the quaking of the earth at Christ's death - the effect was profound.

(I can still remember training successive senior acolytes to do it to its fullest effect. Never easy. The wooden hammer was very short-handled and tethered to the base. The tendency was to try and use it as a handheld hammer, a not very effective technique. The proper method was to hold the handle below the base and flick the wrist in a way that caused the hammer to swing suddenly and strike fiercely against the upper face of the wooden base, producing a fiercely resonant sound.)

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Originally Posted by DMD
Indeed so, Father, one of the real problems in coming to grips with Orthodox 'unity' in the Americas can be found in that very diversity of regional practice. The 'my Orthodoxy is more Orthodox than your Orthodoxy' has vexed us for generations.


The same infection can be found among American Lutherans and American Anglicans.

Its name is Pharisaism and its antidote is the second petition of the Prayer of St. Ephrem.

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Originally Posted by Matta
It is the Greek tradition -- which therefore includes the Antiochian Orthodox and Melkites -- to anticipate the services of Great and Holy Week by about half a day (i.e., by about 12 hours).

This means that the Orthros services are usually celebrated the evening of the day before. The Twelve Gospels as mentioned above are part of the Orthros of Great & Holy Friday; but celebrated by the Greeks and Antiochians (Orthodox and Melkite) on Thursday evening.

Friday morning the Descent from the Cross is celebrated, which is actually the Vespers of Great & Holy Saturday.

You will find this mentioned even in the Typika.


Why did they want to anticipate the services?

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Why did they want to anticipate the services?

For a number of reasons. The short answer is that you have several very long services on the same day.

Secondly, the Sabbaitic typikon was intended for monastic communities where the vigils could be held at the proper time since the monastic community was already residing within walking distance of the catholicon (monastery church).

For example Jerusalem Matins on Great and Holy Saturday is appointed at about 1 a.m. by the Sabbaitic Typikon, and most parishes simply can't celebrate the service at that time, especially if they are celebrating a midnight Paschal Vigil with Graveside/Midnight Office, Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy at midnight of Holy Saturday which is less than 24 hours away with a Vesperal Divine Liturgy for Great and Holy Saturday in between.

In most cases a parish will take Jerusalem Matins after Vespers on Holy Friday evening (as is often the Ukrainian practice) or take it Saturday morning before 10 a.m., which is actually later, not anticipated, from the Sabbaitic Typikon.

In some parishes sadly the Vesperal Divine Liturgies get neglected with everything else going on. It becomes especially tricky with these Vesperal Divine Liturgies appointed for Great and Holy Thursday and Great and Holy Saturday, which should ideally be celebrated in late afternoon or early evening, along with other longer services. These Vesperal Liturgies are frequently anticipated earlier if they are taken at all.

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Originally Posted by Chtec
Carpatho-Russians have no real excitement about "Bridegroom" Matins or "Jerusalem" Matins, but to a Greek, those services are essential parts of Holy Week.


Father bless!

Respectfully, it is hard to be excited about that to which one has not been properly exposed or even introduced.

After being a member of a Cathedral parish for many years, I moved to the Midwest for a brief tour of duty (work). It was during my brief but joyful years there in a parish of the Eparchy of Parma that I was first exposed to Jerusalem Matins. Gladly, now that I am back on the East Coast, our current parish priest is also a fan and we have conducted this beautiful service the past two years. I cannot imagine Holy Week concluding without Jerusalem Matins now. We also did Bridegroom Matins on one day (Tuesday) this year, and it was a very enriching experience for all who attended.

It took 38 and 46 years for this cradle Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic to ever have a chance to experience Jerusalem Matins and Bridegroom Matins, respectively. It surely wasn't for lack of interest.

Christ is risen!

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With the Gregorian and Julian calendars out of synch I was able to experience the final days of Holy Thursday through Bright Monday in all their fulness for the first time this year.

It did seem [strike]a bit[/strike] very odd to be singing "O Gladsome light..." at 9:00 AM, particularly since my own personal and parish practice is to link a solemn vespers to astronomical sunset. Yes, we begin as early as 4:15 in November and December and as late as 8:15 in July.

Yet, as others have explained, there are few other options because rolling seamlessly from the Vesperal Divine Liturgy to the 12 Gospels would be at least a five hour service...certainly testing the endurance and limits of most congregations.

One other brief observation regarding Holy Thursday: I very much missed the stripping of the altar (accompanied by Psalm 22) from the Western rites; but found that the "stripping of the priest" to wash the feet of twelve men of the parish was a partial, albeit imperfect substitute.

I'll post more thoughts later on in other discussions, but the experience simultaneously introduced me to new treasures while causing a deeper appreciation for some of the ones I have long known.

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Originally Posted by Curious Joe

Father bless!

Respectfully, it is hard to be excited about that to which one has not been properly exposed or even introduced.


Indeed, He is risen!

I don't think we disagree here. I was describing what IS, you are describing what CAN BE or SHOULD BE.

God bless!

Fr. David

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If the rites are followed fully, the altar should have been stripped and cleaned in the Byzantine rite as well, although not on Thursday. It is a lovely service, rarely served in public though, because, i.a., all action takes place within the sanctuary.

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The Russian Orthodox Triod Postnaya (in the post-Nikonian synodal Moscow recenssion) specifically states that this service is to take place at the second hour of the night, or in other words two hours after sunset (roughly corresponding to 8pm) And as per Orthodox Byzantine understanding, a "day" is reckoned "from sunset to sunset", this service takes place "by anticipation" on Holy Thursday night. Understandably, though, some parishes may choose to have this service before sunset eg 5pm, or whatever their current times are for night services. Nevertheless, liturgically speaking, we are all within the same "liturgical time"

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:) according to the Russian Orthodox Triod Postnaya (in the post-Nikonian Moscow Synodal recension) this service is to take place "vo vtoryy chas nosci" or at the second hour of the night, which roughly corresponds to 8pm. Keeping in mind, that according to traditional Byzantine reckoning, a day starts from sunset and lasts until following sunset, this service takes place 'by anticipation" on Holy Thursday Night, well after a normal compline would have been said. And it is Matins, not compline;) This whole "by anticipation" business is rather confusing to some people, and I can perfectly sympathize, although that is how it is done in all monasteries throughout the world:

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