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Questions about Reader's Vespers service

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  • Theophan
    I have what I thought were going to be a couple of questions, but which turned into several, I m afraid, for Father John Whiteford, or any others who may know
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 6, 2003
      I have what I thought were going to be a couple of questions, but which
      turned into several, I'm afraid, for Father John Whiteford, or any others
      who may know the answers, if I may:

      Father, bless,

      I am trying to prepare a Reader's Service in Word format for the
      commemoration of St. Hilda of Whitby for a parish sister who does not have
      any of the service books. St. Hilda this year happens to be commemorated on
      a Sunday, so we may actually be able to commemorate her in church, if our
      priest chooses to do so, so this may be unnecessary this year. But having
      gotten started on it, anyway, I thought it would be an interesting and
      worthwhile exercise, anyway, to keep learning about how to do these things,
      so I'm proceeding. I have some questions, and no doubt will have more:

      1) I can lend her my Octoechos and Menaion, but my first question is what
      do people do who want to do a Reader's service, but they simply don't have
      access to these books? The General Menaion is online, but what about,
      "Lord, I have cried," the Aposticha, etc.? Does one just skip what is
      called for in the Octoechos if one doesn't have it? And when it calls for a
      theotokion from the Menaion or the Octoechos, what theotokion would one use?

      2) In the opening prayers of Vespers, after the Our Father, your service
      has the Senior Reader say, "O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on
      us," and the Reader say, "Amen." Where does that come from? It's not in my
      (Jordanville) Horlogion. Is it simply a variation that's in a different
      service book, or is one more correct than the other?

      3) When an ectenia is replaced by, "Lord, have mercy," 12 times, you have
      the Senior Reader follow that with, "Glory..., Both now...", and the choir,
      "Amen." I wouldn't have known to do that, when the instructions just say to
      replace the ectenia with, "Lord, have mercy" 3 or 12 times, depending on the
      type of ectenia. What's the rule on adding, "Glory..., Both now..." after
      that 12-fold "Lord, have mercy," when to do that, or not to do so?

      4) Similarly, after, "Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace...",
      after the, "Our Father...", you have the Senior Reader replace the priest's
      exclamation with, "O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us."
      Again, I wouldn't have known to do that. I thought I would have simply
      omitted the priest's exclamation and moved on. How should I know what to do
      in similar cases?

      5) After, "O Gentle (or Gladsome) Light...", the rubrics say, "the Vespers
      Hymn may be read." I know I'm going to feel like an idiot when you tell me
      what that is, but what IS the Vespers Hymn? And does this rubric also mean
      to imply that if it is a simple service, there is no Prokeimenon at that
      point? Or is it that if there is a simple service, an "extra" hymn is
      inserted there, the Vespers Hymn, and then we continue with the Prokeimenon
      as specified?

      6) Last (for now), in the closing commemoration, "The Orthodox episcopate
      of the Russian Church...", instead of saying, "... the brotherhood of this
      holy temple...", if it is in one's home, what would one say? And would it
      be different in a fully-Orthodox home, or one in which perhaps only one is
      Orthodox, but other beloved family are not believers?

      MANY thanks!

      Theophan Dort
    • Fr. John Whiteford
      God bless! Hello Theophan, ... For Vespers, the entire Octoechos is available in one translation or another:
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 7, 2003
        God bless!

        Hello Theophan,

        You wrote:


        > I am trying to prepare a Reader's Service in Word
        > format for the
        > commemoration of St. Hilda of Whitby for a parish
        > sister who does not have
        > any of the service books. St. Hilda this year
        > happens to be commemorated on
        > a Sunday, so we may actually be able to commemorate
        > her in church, if our
        > priest chooses to do so, so this may be unnecessary
        > this year. But having
        > gotten started on it, anyway, I thought it would be
        > an interesting and
        > worthwhile exercise, anyway, to keep learning about
        > how to do these things,
        > so I'm proceeding. I have some questions, and no
        > doubt will have more:
        >
        > 1) I can lend her my Octoechos and Menaion, but my
        > first question is what
        > do people do who want to do a Reader's service, but
        > they simply don't have
        > access to these books? The General Menaion is
        > online, but what about,
        > "Lord, I have cried," the Aposticha, etc.? Does one
        > just skip what is
        > called for in the Octoechos if one doesn't have it?
        > And when it calls for a
        > theotokion from the Menaion or the Octoechos, what
        > theotokion would one use?

        For Vespers, the entire Octoechos is available in one
        translation or another:

        http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/resources.htm

        See:

        http://www.bright.net/~palamas/CyberPsaltiri/Contents.htm

        http://www.anastasis.org.uk/oktoich.htm



        > 2) In the opening prayers of Vespers, after the Our
        > Father, your service
        > has the Senior Reader say, "O Lord, Jesus Christ,
        > Son of God, have mercy on
        > us," and the Reader say, "Amen." Where does that
        > come from? It's not in my
        > (Jordanville) Horlogion. Is it simply a variation
        > that's in a different
        > service book, or is one more correct than the other?

        That comes from the Old Rite Typikon. The Service
        books do not generally tell you what to do when doing
        reader services, which is why I set up the services in
        the Reader Service Horologion.


        > 3) When an ectenia is replaced by, "Lord, have
        > mercy," 12 times, you have
        > the Senior Reader follow that with, "Glory..., Both
        > now...", and the choir,
        > "Amen." I wouldn't have known to do that, when the
        > instructions just say to
        > replace the ectenia with, "Lord, have mercy" 3 or 12
        > times, depending on the
        > type of ectenia. What's the rule on adding,
        > "Glory..., Both now..." after
        > that 12-fold "Lord, have mercy," when to do that, or
        > not to do so?

        If it is done to replace an Ektenia, you always do
        "Glory... both now..."

        > 4) Similarly, after, "Now lettest Thou Thy servant
        > depart in peace...",
        > after the, "Our Father...", you have the Senior
        > Reader replace the priest's
        > exclamation with, "O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God,
        > have mercy on us."
        > Again, I wouldn't have known to do that. I thought
        > I would have simply
        > omitted the priest's exclamation and moved on. How
        > should I know what to do
        > in similar cases?

        Again, that is what is indicated in the Reader Service
        Typikon by Bishop Daniel.

        > 5) After, "O Gentle (or Gladsome) Light...", the
        > rubrics say, "the Vespers
        > Hymn may be read." I know I'm going to feel like an
        > idiot when you tell me
        > what that is, but what IS the Vespers Hymn? And
        > does this rubric also mean
        > to imply that if it is a simple service, there is no
        > Prokeimenon at that
        > point? Or is it that if there is a simple service,
        > an "extra" hymn is
        > inserted there, the Vespers Hymn, and then we
        > continue with the Prokeimenon
        > as specified?

        "O Gladsome Light" is the Vespers Hymn that is
        referred to there.


        > 6) Last (for now), in the closing commemoration,
        > "The Orthodox episcopate
        > of the Russian Church...", instead of saying, "...
        > the brotherhood of this
        > holy temple...", if it is in one's home, what would
        > one say? And would it
        > be different in a fully-Orthodox home, or one in
        > which perhaps only one is
        > Orthodox, but other beloved family are not
        > believers?

        If you are doing it at home, I suppose signing the
        Many years would not necessarily have to be done. If
        one has a chapel set up, I suppose one could leave it
        the way that it is written. Alternatively (and this
        is just my opinion) I suppose no harm would arise from
        changing it from "the brethren of this holy temple" to
        "the members of this household".



        =====
        *****************************************************************
        Fr. John Whiteford
        St. Jonah Orthodox Church
        Parish Home Page: http://www.saintjonah.org/
        Parish Discussion Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saintjonah/
        ROCOR Discussion Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-rocor/
      • Theophan
        Father, bless, MANY thanks for your generous and helpful reply! I apologize for not having returned to your list of resources recently, or for simply having
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 7, 2003
          Father, bless,

          MANY thanks for your generous and helpful reply! I apologize for not having
          returned to your list of resources recently, or for simply having missed,
          somehow, when I went through them some time ago, now, that the Octoechos was
          available online. I just compared it to my SJOKP version, and notice that
          the stichera at Lord, I have cried... are different, at least in the one
          tone I looked at, but I suppose perhaps sometimes the Greek and Russian
          books differ? Anyway, at least there is a set available to those who don't
          have the books.

          And thank you very much for all of the other information as well. I had
          been trying to follow the instructions in the file you referred to by
          Archpriest Sergei Shukin, "When No Priest is Available," and following my
          Jordanville Horologion, because it's the one I am familiar with, and then
          comparing what I came up with, line by line, against your Reader's Vespers
          Service, to learn where I was making mistakes, or simply didn't know what I
          was doing.

          Thank you very much again for your time and knowledge!

          Theophan Dort
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