Posted By: Fr. Al Paschal Vigil - 10/18/21 02:49 PM
I seem to recall someone mentioning a Russian Catholic Paschal Vigil by the late Fr. Mowatt which lasted six hours. Even with Nocturnes, the procession around the church, Paschal Matins, all three Paschal Hours, and Divine Liturgy, that seems like a long time. I just wonder if anyone could enlighten me.
Posted By: ajk Re: Paschal Vigil - 10/18/21 03:02 PM
Good memory! See Re: How much Slavonic was used during Resurrection Services?

Originally Posted by Dr John
I also recall Our Lady of Kazan in Boston, with Fr. Mowatt (of happy memory), where at Pascha we started with the lamentations at 10:30 and then went through Paschal Matins, the Liturgy, anointings, etc. followed by the blessing of baskets. We ended at 3:45 a.m. (The good father brought out a thermos of Manhattans for the choir - 4 people - one ethnic Russian, one high school Russian teacher, one DP from somewhere in East Europe and a Greek-American Jesuit scholastic.) I slept for two days. There were 4 Russsians in a congregation of about 25 for the service.
Posted By: Fr. Al Re: Paschal Vigil - 10/18/21 04:05 PM
Lamentations here is inaccurate. The Nocturnes or Mesonyctis is the Canon taken from Holy Saturday Matins, lamentations refers to the earlier part of the service which occurs after the great litany. I am guessing they used Znameny chant and perhaps the good father followed the Russian custom of doing the Gospel in multiple languages during liturgy.
Posted By: Irish Melkite Re: Paschal Vigil - 10/21/21 04:34 AM
Bless Father,

Originally Posted by Fr. Al
I seem to recall ...

Firstly, let me just say, what a memory!

Originally Posted by Fr. Al
perhaps the good father followed the Russian custom of doing the Gospel in multiple languages during liturgy.

Secondly, I wasn't present on the occasion described by my classmate, Dr John, of blessed memory, but I was present on the occasion of another Paschal Vigil served by Father Mowatt, also of blessed memory, when he did proclaim the Gospel in multiple languages and I've no doubt that was his ordiinary praxis.

Many years,

Posted By: theophan Re: Paschal Vigil - 10/21/21 02:30 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

Neil or Father Al,

Is this the same Father Mowatt who served at the Byzantine chapel at Fatima? I recall a picture in a magazine by the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima (many years ago) where a Father Mowatt was holding an icon from Russia that was eventually given to Pope St John Paul 2.

Posted By: Fr. Al Re: Paschal Vigil - 10/21/21 03:06 PM
It probably is the same Fr. Mowatt. I was present at the now closed Our Lady of Kazan church in South Boston. One Sunday, Fr. Mowatt came and concelebrated with Fr. Alexis Floridi. That is the only time I met him and this was almost fifty years ago.
I do recall talking to someone from the Pokrova Ukrainian Catholic church in Parma. Their Paschal service began at 7:00 AM and lasted until noon. I don't think I asked about the details. Maybe they chanted all three Paschal Hours between Matins and Liturgy, something never practiced at St. Tikhon's nor in any ROCOR parish I 've served: one Paschal Hour would be chanted. In the OCA parish I currently serve, we follow the Greek parish practice of going right into liturgy from Matins, no Paschal Hours, and the Gospel only in English. I'm dealing with a lot of old folks(I'm one of them), plus our one chanter goes non stop from the eve of Lazarus Saturday until Bright Monday. I'm not going to burden him down by upping the ante.
Posted By: theophan Re: Paschal Vigil - 10/21/21 03:53 PM
Father Al,

Father bless!!

I remember Metropolitan Gregory of ACROD remarking in an article about his assuming the role of diocesan bishop that their liturgical practice contained many elements similar to the Old Believers of Russia. Seems that being outside the Russian Empire and the reforms of Patriarch Nikon and outside the influence of the EP, rather a bit isolated in the Austro-Hungarian Empire left many practices abandoned in other part of the Orthodox world.

Rome did a long, thorough research of their service books and published the entire collection in 1940. That may explain some of these practices.

Posted By: Fr. Al Re: Paschal Vigil - 10/21/21 05:00 PM
The Lord Bless!
Actually, we are pretty Nikonian. But you are correct about the changes the Patriarch Nikon made not reaching the Rusyns in what was then Hungary. I am familiar with ACROD practices, but we don't do them here. Although St. John the Baptist was founded as a Greek Catholic parish in 1908, our liturgics are more in line with traditional Russian usage. It was Archbishop Job of Blessed Memory who reintroduced prostopinije as rector in the 70's. As is well known, he had great musical talents and was an iconographer. He was all about being Carpatho Russian, but he was quite the traditionalist. He phased out the Western style icons; anyone visiting here can see his work. He wanted to eliminate the benches, but he couldn't quite pull that one off. Besides the Carpatho Rusyn plain chant, he taught our chanter the beautiful podoben melodies. He was open to other types of chant, Serbian, Byzantine, etc; but he was not a fan of operatic music in church(nor am I).
What I was trying to say is that when we serve Matins we follow what is universal Greek practice of going into liturgy from Matins without a dismissal. This would normally be after the Great Doxology; on Pascha it would be right after the Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom.
Concerning Patriarch Nikon and his reforms, I did my thesis on him. One reform he introduced to the Russian church was that the Royal Gates remain shut at the beginning of liturgy. Ironically enough, today in the Greek Church, the Royal Gates almost never close during liturgy. No doubt, this was never accepted by the Greek Catholics in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As I've mentioned before, it is because of the Greek Catholic heritage of many OCA parishes that the Royal Gates remain open for most of liturgy. Here, I follow the Russian practice, except for Pascha and Bright Week.
Posted By: Irish Melkite Re: Paschal Vigil - 11/03/21 08:10 AM
Originally Posted by theophan
Is this the same Father Mowatt who served at the Byzantine chapel at Fatima? I recall a picture in a magazine by the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima (many years ago) where a Father Mowatt was holding an icon from Russia that was eventually given to Pope St John Paul 2.


Yes, that was the same Father Mowatt, of blessed memory. He served, at various times, Our Lady of Kazan Russian Greek-Catholic Chapel in South Boston, the Byzantine Chapel at Fatima, and a Ukrainian Greek-Catholic parish in Rhode Island, among others.

Father John happens to have been my introduction to the Byzantine Rite and the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church in particular. He was a close friend of Father Joe Monahan, of blessed memory, a Latin priest who was administrator of the grammar school I attended. In 1958, during the Chair of Unity Octave, Father Monahan invited Father Mowatt to serve the Divine Liturgy in our school chapel, in an effort to help we kids better understand that there were 'other Catholics' (we actually knew, very vaguely, about Orthodoxy because we had a few Orthodox classmates). As the school's senior altarboy, I was more than a bit miffed that some visiting priest was going to say Mass but the services of myself and my two best friends would specifically not be needed.

When the day came, I sat and stood and I think occasionally knelt, in awe, for the entire time. It would be about 2 more years before I next had the opportunity to attend another Divine Liturgy, about 5 before I came into contact with the Melkites, and about 7 before I requested and received (as it was then termed) a 'change of rite'. By then, I had long since burned my way through every document and text on the Eastern and Oriental Churches on which I could lay hands. But, to this day, I consider that Father Mowatt's beautiful service of that first Divine Liturgy and the extraordinary presentation he gave afterwards about Eastern sprituality (maybe, maybe, 5% of which I actually understood) was the start of my Eastern journey, something for which I had the opportunity to thank him many years later, when he was present at the Melkite Cathedral on the occasion of some hierarchial event or patriarchal visit. May his memory be eternal!

Many years,

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