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Evening services without a priest?

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  • Evyenios Athanasiou
    So, I m one of a handful of Orthodox Christians who live in a small town without an Orthodox Church. We re thinking of getting together and doing some
    Message 1 of 10 , May 7, 2008
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      So, I'm one of a handful of Orthodox Christians who live in a small
      town without an Orthodox Church.

      We're thinking of getting together and doing some priest-less
      services. We'll probably meet around dinnertime on Saturday night at
      someone's home to do this - although we may also meet on some Sunday
      mornings.

      So what should we do? I Googled around and I ran into a whole bunch
      of terminology regarding priest-less (not to mention deacon-less)
      services in the Orthodox Church. But I don't know the differences
      between these nor do I know when you're supposed to do one vs. the
      other. So, briefly, what are the differences in practice and purpose
      between the following services?

      -Typika
      -Akathist
      -Vespers
      -Compline
      -Reader's Service

      I'm assuming these are all different things? Or is there some
      overlap? Is there an appropriate time/day to do one as opposed to
      another?
    • Philip Sokolov
      ... You should consider doing VESPERS at these times. ... You should consider doing TYPIKA at these times. ... The service you do in place of Divine Liturgy
      Message 2 of 10 , May 7, 2008
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        Evyenios Athanasiou wrote:

        > We're thinking of getting together and doing some priest-less
        > services. We'll probably meet around dinnertime on Saturday night at
        > someone's home to do this

        You should consider doing VESPERS at these times.

        > although we may also meet on some Sunday mornings.

        You should consider doing TYPIKA at these times.

        > -Typika
        The service you do in place of Divine Liturgy when there is no priest.

        > -Akathist
        A special service to the Theotokos or a Saint or Icon.

        > -Vespers
        The evening service of the daily cycle.

        > -Compline
        The midnight service of the daily cycle.

        > -Reader's Service
        Any service done without a priest is called a Reader's service.

        The major service missing from your list is Matins, the morning service of
        the daily cycle. But, as I said, you will have enough to keep your hands
        full at first with just Vespers and/or Typika.

        You should also consider contacting the dean of the nearest deanery in your
        jurisdiction (or another jurisdiction, if yours is non-existent in your
        area) and let him know what you are doing. You never know--they might have
        been thinking of starting a mission there anyway, and might be able to send
        a priest eventually... Regards.
        --

        Rdr. Philip Sokolov
      • Sparrow R Jones
        ... Also, it s a good idea to contact someone for a couple of other reasons. One is that your jurisdiction may have a particular translation they prefer you to
        Message 3 of 10 , May 7, 2008
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          On 5/7/08, Philip Sokolov <sokolov@...> wrote:
          >
          > You should also consider contacting the dean of the nearest deanery in your
          > jurisdiction (or another jurisdiction, if yours is non-existent in your
          > area) and let him know what you are doing. You never know--they might have
          > been thinking of starting a mission there anyway, and might be able to send
          > a priest eventually.

          Also, it's a good idea to contact someone for a couple of other
          reasons. One is that your jurisdiction may have a particular
          translation they prefer you to use. The other is that it's good to
          show that you check things out before doing something new.

          Our parish has been without a priest for a very long time and we were
          thinking about doing reader services. But it turned out that the
          Bishop frowns on it (for whatever reason - I don't know and I didn't
          ask) and would prefer that we wait for a suitable priest to be found
          for us. If we had just gone ahead and started reader services without
          checking in, word would have gotten to the Bishop and there would be
          some flavor of unpleasantness that could have been avoided by checking
          in.

          In Christ,
          Sparrow


          --
          "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the
          mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and
          all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." - Isaiah 55:12
        • Philip Silouan Thompson
          ... Vespers is easy to learn and works well as an evening reader service. But large parts of Vespers are taken from the hymns of the saint of the day in the
          Message 4 of 10 , May 8, 2008
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            Evyenios Athanasiou wrote:
            > So, I'm one of a handful of Orthodox Christians who live in a small
            > town without an Orthodox Church.
            >
            > We're thinking of getting together and doing some priest-less
            > services. We'll probably meet around dinnertime on Saturday night at
            > someone's home to do this - although we may also meet on some Sunday
            > mornings.

            Vespers is easy to learn and works well as an evening reader service.
            But large parts of Vespers are taken from the hymns of the saint of the
            day in the Menaion, and from the weekly cycle of the Octoechos, so it
            may not be practical if you haven't got all those liturgical books to
            draw from.

            Compline is an easier service to use in the evening, as Compline changes
            very little from day to day. You can look up the troparion of the saint
            of the day, and the rest you can simply read and sing from the service text.

            On Sunday mornings, you could serve the Typica - this is another service
            that's easy to learn and prepare.

            There are reader versions of most services online at
            http://www.saintjonah.org/services/horologion.htm

            Unless someone in your group is familiar with the services, you'll want
            to get in touch with a parish in the nearest city, where someone can
            help you decipher the instructions and variable parts. It all makes
            sense eventually :-)

            In Christ,

            Silouan
          • Reader Timothy Tadros
            ... were ... didn t ... found ... without ... be ... checking ... A bishop frowning on people meeting together for services? Mmm Get a new bishop! Having
            Message 5 of 10 , May 8, 2008
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              --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Sparrow R Jones"
              <sparrowrose@...> wrote:
              > Also, it's a good idea to contact someone for a couple of other
              > reasons. One is that your jurisdiction may have a particular
              > translation they prefer you to use. The other is that it's good to
              > show that you check things out before doing something new.
              >
              > Our parish has been without a priest for a very long time and we
              were
              > thinking about doing reader services. But it turned out that the
              > Bishop frowns on it (for whatever reason - I don't know and I
              didn't
              > ask) and would prefer that we wait for a suitable priest to be
              found
              > for us. If we had just gone ahead and started reader services
              without
              > checking in, word would have gotten to the Bishop and there would
              be
              > some flavor of unpleasantness that could have been avoided by
              checking
              > in.
              >
              > In Christ,
              > Sparrow

              A bishop frowning on people meeting together for services?
              Mmm Get a new bishop! Having services in a parish where they are
              dependent upon the bishop sending them a priest for an occasional
              get together is not healthy. I can say it will be it's death! I know
              people want to have liturgy on Sunday but having readers service
              binds the group into a community.
              Of course ask your bishop for his blessing but he should not
              prevent you having some sort of service in your community. I had the
              same problem and we are knocking at deaths door because we are in an
              area where within 30 miles we have at lease 20 other Orthodox
              churches to atttend. I'm in ROCOR and we don't have extra priests to
              serve vacant or mission parishes.
              Rdr Timothy Tadros
            • Reader Timothy Tadros
              ... were ... didn t ... found ... without ... be ... checking ... A bishop frowning on people meeting together for services? Mmm Get a new bishop! Having
              Message 6 of 10 , May 8, 2008
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                --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Sparrow R Jones"
                <sparrowrose@...> wrote:
                > Also, it's a good idea to contact someone for a couple of other
                > reasons. One is that your jurisdiction may have a particular
                > translation they prefer you to use. The other is that it's good to
                > show that you check things out before doing something new.
                >
                > Our parish has been without a priest for a very long time and we
                were
                > thinking about doing reader services. But it turned out that the
                > Bishop frowns on it (for whatever reason - I don't know and I
                didn't
                > ask) and would prefer that we wait for a suitable priest to be
                found
                > for us. If we had just gone ahead and started reader services
                without
                > checking in, word would have gotten to the Bishop and there would
                be
                > some flavor of unpleasantness that could have been avoided by
                checking
                > in.
                >
                > In Christ,
                > Sparrow

                A bishop frowning on people meeting together for services?
                Mmm Get a new bishop! Having services in a parish where they are
                dependent upon the bishop sending them a priest for an occasional
                get together is not healthy. I can say it will be it's death! I know
                people want to have liturgy on Sunday but having readers service
                binds the group into a community.
                Of course ask your bishop for his blessing but he should not
                prevent you having some sort of service in your community. I had the
                same problem and we are knocking at deaths door because we are in an
                area where within 30 miles we have at lease 20 other Orthodox
                churches to atttend. I'm in ROCOR and we don't have extra priests to
                serve vacant or mission parishes.
                Rdr Timothy Tadros
              • Sparrow R Jones
                ... It has been very hard for us. We have not had our own priest for several years, which is a great shame as the parish is 100 years old and (in my humble
                Message 7 of 10 , May 8, 2008
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                  On 5/8/08, Reader Timothy Tadros <pravoslavney@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Having services in a parish where they are
                  > dependent upon the bishop sending them a priest for an occasional
                  > get together is not healthy. I can say it will be it's death!

                  It has been very hard for us. We have not had our own priest for
                  several years, which is a great shame as the parish is 100 years old
                  and (in my humble opinion) well worth preserving.

                  > I had the
                  > same problem and we are knocking at deaths door because we are in an
                  > area where within 30 miles we have at lease 20 other Orthodox
                  > churches to atttend.

                  Sad to say, I probably would have left for another church in the same
                  situation. Here, it is over 200 miles to the nearest Orthodox church
                  or mission.

                  In Christ,
                  Sparrow

                  --
                  "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the
                  mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and
                  all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." - Isaiah 55:12
                • Steve Robinson
                  Hi Sparrow, Wow, that is a tough situation. I don t know the politics of your parish etc. but it is possible to change jurisdictions. That is a diplomatic
                  Message 8 of 10 , May 8, 2008
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                    Hi Sparrow,
                    Wow, that is a tough situation. I don't know the "politics" of your parish etc. but it is possible to change jurisdictions. That is a diplomatic nightmare sometimes for the laity and Bishops involved, but it has been done.
                    If you have a committed core of people it seems the community is worth keeping together and trying to grow again. There are Bishops who are Mission minded and know the reality of needing a community to pray together even without a priest.
                    May God give you wisdom!
                    SDn Steven (veteran of several missions)
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Sparrow R Jones
                    To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2008 4:56 PM
                    Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Re: Evening services without a priest?


                    On 5/8/08, Reader Timothy Tadros <pravoslavney@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Having services in a parish where they are
                    > dependent upon the bishop sending them a priest for an occasional
                    > get together is not healthy. I can say it will be it's death!

                    It has been very hard for us. We have not had our own priest for
                    several years, which is a great shame as the parish is 100 years old
                    and (in my humble opinion) well worth preserving.

                    > I had the
                    > same problem and we are knocking at deaths door because we are in an
                    > area where within 30 miles we have at lease 20 other Orthodox
                    > churches to atttend.

                    Sad to say, I probably would have left for another church in the same
                    situation. Here, it is over 200 miles to the nearest Orthodox church
                    or mission.

                    In Christ,
                    Sparrow

                    --
                    "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the
                    mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and
                    all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." - Isaiah 55:12




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • mogiljan2
                    Hello Orthodox Readers, I m sorry if I missed it, but does anybody have an online link to Concerning Services in the Absence of a Priest ? The jpegs I
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jun 17, 2008
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                      Hello Orthodox Readers,

                      I'm sorry if I missed it, but does anybody have an online link to

                      "Concerning Services in the Absence of a Priest" ? The jpegs I
                      received are of poor quality and not suitable for printing.

                      The parish priest has asked me to lead the Reader's Vespers on a
                      Saturday evening.

                      Thanks Be To God!
                      Rdr. George/Yuri
                    • Fr. John Whiteford
                      I am not sure specifically which text you have in mind, but if it is an English text, you will probably find it on this page:
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jun 17, 2008
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                        I am not sure specifically which text you have in mind, but if it is
                        an English text, you will probably find it on this page:

                        http://www.saintjonah.org/services/horologion.htm

                        -Fr. John Whiteford



                        --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "mogiljan2"
                        <sustain_ability@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hello Orthodox Readers,
                        >
                        > I'm sorry if I missed it, but does anybody have an online link to
                        >
                        > "Concerning Services in the Absence of a Priest" ? The jpegs I
                        > received are of poor quality and not suitable for printing.
                        >
                        > The parish priest has asked me to lead the Reader's Vespers on a
                        > Saturday evening.
                        >
                        > Thanks Be To God!
                        > Rdr. George/Yuri
                        >
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