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Antiochian directive on Church Announcements #417846
12/30/17 08:03 AM
12/30/17 08:03 AM
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Thomas the Seeker Offline OP
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From HIs Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH:

Quote
Regarding announcements/speaking in the church. Only clergy may speak or make announcements from the solea. If any organization or person needs an announcement to be made, he or she must give it to the pastor before the liturgy (we do not want people walking in and out of the altar during the liturgy) and the pastor will make it on behalf of the person or organization.


Some sincere questions::

1) Does this mean that the solea is to be regarded as sacred space? And, if so, should it not be set apart with some type of delineator more substantial than a single step? A railing akin to a Communion rail?

2) Does this mean that the time after the Liturgy is to be regarded as sacred time? And, if so when (if ever) does the hallowed time come to a close?

I know of one Priest who is interpreting the "before the liturgy" directive to mean that he must receive written announcements "before Saturday evening". While I have endured announcement periods that verge on the chaotic (and which become unduly prolonged) this seems an extreme over reaction.

Re: Antiochian directive on Church Announcements [Re: Thomas the Seeker] #417848
12/30/17 12:33 PM
12/30/17 12:33 PM
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Fr. Al Offline
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It seems to me that the Metropolitan's directive makes sense. I presume if no deacon is serving, the priest could send a Reader or Subdeacon out to announce that Holy Communion is to be given only to Orthodox. I have seen the priest himself make such an announcement after opening the Royal Gates in OCA churches.
Now that I'm serving a small OCA parish, the one thing I don't miss from both the ROCOR and Ukrainian churches is the constant traffic in and out of the altar, bringing in prosphoras for commemoration. This was the rule in the Detroit area. My successor in the ROCOR cathedral now has a deacon, just as well, since the prosphora traffic has increased since my time. But when I was helping in the Ukrainian church, there was no deacon. When I was assisting , the Rector was able to go to the table of preparation and take care of the prosphoras. Now that I'm gone, I'm sure he could use a deaconâ˜ș.
Here in Western PA, we don't have that. I noticed when I served with Archbishop Daniel here in the Ukrainian church, that wasn't the custom. I conclude it's because here almost every parish is made up of ex-Greek Catholics. In the Detroit area, most of the Ukrainians seemed to be recent arrivals from Eastern Ukraine.

Re: Antiochian directive on Church Announcements [Re: Thomas the Seeker] #417851
12/31/17 03:43 PM
12/31/17 03:43 PM
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I agree with Father Al that the directive makes sense.

I would see this more as the setting of a norm of appropriate behavior rather than a declaration of the solea as a sacred space. What priest would want someone bringing an announcement into the altar (or sacristy) during the Divine Liturgy?

I think that the priest who insists that all announcements be received before Saturday evening might be taking it too far.

I remember when I was a kid the priest one morning was really grumpy. He started off his homily by telling the people that a lady had called him at 5:30 AM to tell him she needed something in the bulletin. After that for a very long time time he included a note in the Sunday bulletin that the bulletin was prepared on Fridays, so the cutoff for any announcements was they he receive them by Thursday night.

But I also remember a Sunday many years ago when the priest had read the announcements and - seeing one of the men motioning to him - asked him if he had an announcement. The man came up to him and said that since it was such a nice day they were setting up grills and would be grilling burgers and hot dogs. It turned into a instant parish picnic with the kids running all over the place.

So I guess I would treat the directive as a standard for behavior, rather than the setting of a moral law.

Re: Antiochian directive on Church Announcements [Re: Thomas the Seeker] #417852
12/31/17 05:40 PM
12/31/17 05:40 PM
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Fr. Al Offline
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I have no problem with a layperson calling my attention to something during announcement time, which is after the liturgy, but before kissing the cross.
On another note, I'm not a fan of priests holding adult education classes in church before liturgy. If you can get people to come before liturgy, serve Matins. Adult education is fine, but not in the church proper. That's just the opinion of an old country priest from Vermont.

Re: Antiochian directive on Church Announcements [Re: Thomas the Seeker] #417854
12/31/17 10:05 PM
12/31/17 10:05 PM
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Thomas the Seeker Offline OP
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There have been many conversations in the past 36 hours both at home and at coffee hour about this directive and its local interpretation/implementation.

First, by way of preface--and this was part of my coffee hour conversations--from my quarter century in Lutheran parish ministry I can honestly say that I positively hated the announcement time and considered it a semi-necessary evil. It seemed pointless to rehash everything printed on the bulletin; yet through those years I received at least 10x more critique (mostly brickbats) over what I did or did not say in the announcements than over what I did or did not say in the Sermon. It got so bad that for a time I seriously considered delegating the announcements to a Deacon. And if someone raised a hand and wanted to say something that was often an invitation to detonating a loose cannon.

So, in spite of my opening post, I really can see many sides to this issue.

When I first read the directive and its local implementation I feared that it would bring to an end a wonderful small "t" tradition in my parish of soliciting the names of those celebrating birthdays, Namedays, and anniversaries to be collected together into a phirmi for "Many years" It is especially touching to hear children barely able to talk naming their siblings or parents. Fortunately, my Priest has shown great wisdom and economia by interpreting those namings at his bidding as NOT something spoken from the solea.

Also, I have learned that the quotation from Metropolitan JOSEPH was actually an excerpt from a larger letter in which he elaborated some serious abuses taking place in some parishes, including commercial announcements made by those who had paid advertisements in the parish bulletin. I'd say that such malpractice is deserving of a John 2 response.

Re: Antiochian directive on Church Announcements [Re: Fr. Al] #417855
12/31/17 10:09 PM
12/31/17 10:09 PM
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Thomas the Seeker Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Fr. Al
I'm not a fan of priests holding adult education classes in church before liturgy. If you can get people to come before liturgy, serve Matins. Adult education is fine, but not in the church proper.


The services of the Church--especially Orthros--are the finest adult education available.

They kept the Russian Church learning (and training clergy) all through Stalinism.

Re: Antiochian directive on Church Announcements [Re: Fr. Al] #417858
01/01/18 09:20 AM
01/01/18 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Fr. Al
On another note, I'm not a fan of priests holding adult education classes in church before liturgy. If you can get people to come before liturgy, serve Matins. Adult education is fine, but not in the church proper. That's just the opinion of an old country priest from Vermont.

Agreed. Catechesis is accomplished primarily through prayer.


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