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#74330 05/24/06 06:29 PM
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I recently acquired a copy of the Melkite Greek Catholic Horologion. Certain services in the book are designated for first, second, or third class feasts. Other services are designated for fourth and fifth class feasts (If that is not exactly correct, I am writing this question by memory - the book is at home). I am not familiar with these designations. If someone on this board is familiar with these designations, an explanation would be greatly appreciated. Also, does the Greek Orthodox Church use these designations? Thanks for your help.

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Sounds like a lingering Latinization. The Latin Church uses that type of language on it's calendar. In the Ruthenian (Rusyn) Greek Catholic Church, we have the odd (for us) Latinized delineation between Holy Days of Obligation, Solemn Holy Days, and Simple Holy Days. These delineations divide up the Holy Days that you would know as the Major Holy Days of the Church. Hopefully, for us, this will go away. It has resulted in lesser attendance at the "solemn" and "simple" Holy Day celebrations.

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Christ is Risen!

I don't know if this system is due to Latin influence, but I do know that this website has charts and explanations for the rankings, and is Antiochian Orthodox:

http://www.networks-now.net/litresswraoc/Typicon_Charts.htm

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Yes, the Greek and Antiochian Orthodox use these designation as well and it is not a Latinization. 1st Class Feasts are those of Christ with Vigil, 2nd those of the Mother of God with Vigil, 3rd Class are those of Saints with Vigil or Polyeleos, 4th Class are those of Saints with Great Doxology, 5th Class are simple commemorations of Saints.

Slavs use a different system utilizing designations and symbols in the liturgical books.

Great Feasts have a cross in a circle. These include the Greek 1st and 2nd Class Feasts as well as the Greek 3rd Class Feasts of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist and his Beheading and the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul.

Middle Feasts have two signs. Those with cross over a half moon are Vigil Rank. Those with just a cross are Polyeleos Rank.

Lesser feasts have two signs. A red E with three dots is Great Doxology Rank. A black E with three dots means no Great Doxology, but six stichera at vespers.

Feasts with no signs are simple commemorations.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Thanks for the clarification.

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Harmonic, this is not a Latinization - various ranks of feasts according to solemnity has always been present and is still present in every Christian church of Apostolic sucession.

If you look at the new Old Rite Horologion, or any of the older texts (from Pochaiv, or Mohyla)you will see the old pre-nikonian traditional graphic descriptive (that Deacon Lance alluded to).

Traditionally, vigil rank feasts which have the All-Night Vigil (Vsenoshchnoe Bdenie) appointed are referred to with a circle and a cross inside the circle. These include the 12 Great Feasts, and the greater feasts of the Lord and the Theotokos. Technically the Vigil is also appointed for every Sunday as well.

This rank also occasionally includes saints (such as the Nativity and Beheading of St. John the Baptist, John the Theologian, Sts. Peter and Paul, the Three Holy Hierarchs, etc).

Just a red cross are "intermediate feasts" without the Vigil, with six or eight Stikhera at Vespers, three readings at Vespers, proper Aposticha, Polyeleos at Matins, eight troparia for the Canon of Matins, the Great Doxology, etc. ("Polyeleos Service").

Three red dots in an incomplete red circle (sort of like a fancy cursive letter "C" with extended and equidistant curved ends, which the open part of the always faces towards the text inwards on the page) convey a feast of six stikhera at Vespers, and three readings at Vespers. Six troparia for the Canon of Matins, Great Doxology etc. (no Polyeleos and sometimes the Vespers readings are ommitted - "Doxology-rank service").

Three black dots in an incomplete black circle indicates six stikhera at Vespers, six troparia for the Canon of Matins, no Doxology or Polyeleos. ("Six-Stikhera Service").

No symbol is a "simple service" per the Typikon (single or double depending on how many saints are commemorated). There are also some pre- and post-festive variations regarding stikhera order at Vespers, troparia at Vespers and Matins, canons at Matins, Apostikha at Matins and Vespers, etc.

Once you see the symobls and use them, it is a snap.
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Dear Father DIAKon,

XB!

I now have the Old Rite Horologion - quite magnificent!

Two questions - are the Old Rite the only ones who have the "Middle Compline?" When exactly is that used? Is it necessary to use?

Also, I ordered a lestovka - which came apart as soon as I unpacked it.

Could you recommend a place to get big, strong Lestovkas?

Finally, the "Forgiveness" for those in their cells - is it the prayer listed at the end of the Midnight Hour (plus the prayer in place of the ectenia?).

Sorry . . .

Alex

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Unfortunately my contacts are not having any luck coming up with your Bogoroditsa Lestovka. If you just want a regular one, that should not be a problem.

Basically the rank of Compline has a sort of inverse relationship to the rank of the feast. If it is a Polyeleos rank or higher, Small Compline is to be used. If it is a specific fasting period with "Alleluia" sung at Matins, Great Compline is to be used. For all of the rest with one or more troparia for the saint(s) of the day, Middle Compline is to be used (simple, six stikhera, or Doxology ranks).

Outside of the Old Rite and perhaps an isolated typikon on Athos Middle Compline is not common. The Ethiopians have all kinds of variations on their Agpeya, and while they don't specifically call it a Middle Compline they have all kinds of shifting patters for the Hours depending on festal/fasting times such as this.

Regarding the Forgiveness, I just end with the prayer given for the cell after Small Compline ("O Lord who lovest mankind, forgive them that hate and offend us...") without anything else and go to the Departure Bows (or private night prayers and then departure bows if one desires) If you are praying alone there is no one to ask forgiveness from except God while remembering the living and departed brethren.
FDD

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Dear Father DIAKon,

XB!

Thank you for your kind and (always) informative response!

Is there a source for further info about the Ethiopian Agpeya?

Again, the Old Rite Horologion is not only beautiful, but I love the detailed explanations on how to do this or that - I'm a liturgical peasant, you know!

All the best, y'all!

Alex

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Thank you all for your replies. You have been very helpful.

Harmonica


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