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I've seen Vespers Served without Divine Liturgy (mostly)

and I've seen Vespers with Divine Liturgy (mostly in Greek Catholic Church ) kind of like a Saturday/Sunday obligation thing.

Is there a preference? Is it better to not typically combine Vespers and Divine Liturgy?


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The more complete tradition is to celebrate Great Vespers on Saturday evenings and the eves of feasts, Matins the following morning, followed by the Divine Liturgy. The Divine Liturgy is only celebrated in the evening on certain days, when it is always preceded by Vespers.

Beginning in the 1960's, some Greek Catholic and Orthodox churches began celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the evening, to accommodate workers, families that had to travel significant distances to church for feastdays, and situations where a priest served several parishes. In the late 1970's, the liturgical commission of the Eparchy of Passaic came up with a proposed order for preceding this Divine Liturgy with Vespers, as is done on those days when the Divine Liturgy is supposed to be held in the evening.

By the 1980's, the Eparchy of Parma had a formal outline of this service, suggesting that if a Divine Liturgy WAS going to be celebrated in the evening, it would be better to follow the "more traditional" pattern beginning with Vespers; this would also serve to familiarize the people with Vespers in the hope of eventually restoring the more complete cycle of services.

For myself, I would certainly rather see regular Vespers served in the evening - but not if it would mean that a parish never had the Eucharist at all.

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In the North American Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, we usually serve an Evening Divine Liurgy on the eve of feast days. People work or go to school and cannot attend a Divine Liturgy on week day mornings. We use the pattern established by the Vesperal Divine Liury of Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday of Holy Week. We begin with Vespers and switch to the Liturg after the Engtrance, with the Vespers portion taking the place of the Antiphons.

Fr. John W. Morris

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The AO congeregation with which I am familiar serves the entire Vespers, then begins the DL in the normal fashion on the eve of weekday festivals, i.e., St. Nicholas. Rarely, but sometimes the Vespers is omitted depending on work schedules.

On the eve of Sundays Great Vespers is sung with no DL.

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Except where mandated by the Typicon, Holy Transfiguration does not use "vesperal Divine Liturgies". We celebrate Vespers and then we celebrate Liturgy.


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