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Question about priests and servers

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  • wholste
    S prazdnikom vsekh pozdravlyayu! I have a question arising out of curiosity, but which could have real application in present-day America. In the Uchitel noe
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 6 8:15 AM
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      S prazdnikom vsekh pozdravlyayu!

      I have a question arising out of curiosity, but which could have
      real application in present-day America.

      In the "Uchitel'noe izvestie", it says that a priest cannot serve
      services, and especially not the Liturgy, unless he has an altar
      server to assist him.

      Now, I know that priests cannot serve alone, but is this rule about
      servers generally followed? Was it ever followed? If it were a
      weekday Liturgy, and no one was there except the priest and his
      matushka, could he serve, or must he have a server?

      I know that not everything in the Uchitel'noe izvestie is followed,
      or normative. For example, it says that the Liturgy must be
      celebrated in a consecrated church, but that is often not the case
      here in America.

      So, what is the general practice on this?

      In Christ,

      Hermogen
    • Nikita
      Dear Hermogen, He also needs a congregation, consisting of at least one person who can chant the liturgical responses. The clergy of the Orthodox Church, as
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 7 10:54 AM
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        Dear Hermogen,

        He also needs a congregation, consisting of at least one person who
        can chant the liturgical responses. The clergy of the Orthodox Church,
        as opposed to the Roman Church, cannot serve private or personal
        Liturgies, nor can they perform a spoken Liturgy (like a Roman "Low
        Mass"). The Eucharist is *for the people*, not for private groups or
        individuals. While it is permissable for the priest, in urgent
        circumstances, to consume the presanctified Gifts by himself, he
        should *never* celebrate the Divine Liturgy without a congregation.
        "Wherever two or three are gathered together" should be a guide in the
        priest's decision whether or not to serve the full Liturgy, and
        ideally he should, as a servant of the Church, not consider himself as
        part of that number. Among some Old Believer communities they have
        decided upon a quarum system, where there needs to be a minimum of 12
        people present (12 Apostles symbolism?) in order for the priest to
        begin the Liturgy; if not, then the Typica is performed. While this is
        not a canonical legislation, it certainly seems like a good idea.

        Nikita

        --- In russian_typikon@yahoogroups.com, "wholste" <wholste@y...> wrote:
        > S prazdnikom vsekh pozdravlyayu!
        >
        > I have a question arising out of curiosity, but which could have
        > real application in present-day America.
        >
        > In the "Uchitel'noe izvestie", it says that a priest cannot serve
        > services, and especially not the Liturgy, unless he has an altar
        > server to assist him.
        >
        > Now, I know that priests cannot serve alone, but is this rule about
        > servers generally followed? Was it ever followed? If it were a
        > weekday Liturgy, and no one was there except the priest and his
        > matushka, could he serve, or must he have a server?
        >
        > I know that not everything in the Uchitel'noe izvestie is followed,
        > or normative. For example, it says that the Liturgy must be
        > celebrated in a consecrated church, but that is often not the case
        > here in America.
        >
        > So, what is the general practice on this?
        >
        > In Christ,
        >
        > Hermogen
      • Nikita
        Another thought on this: I read somewhere within the past year (I can t remember where) that the primary reason why a priest must not serve without a server is
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 8 6:53 AM
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          Another thought on this:

          I read somewhere within the past year (I can't remember where) that
          the primary reason why a priest must not serve without a server is
          because he must preserve "blagochinie" or "good order" (i.e. a smooth
          and consistent flow) in the performing of the Divine Liturgy. If the
          priest has to take time to prepare the charcoal for the censer, go get
          the censer and put it away everytime he needs it, heat water for the
          zeon, cut up and prepare the "zapivka" (additional wine and bread that
          are used to wash down the Gifts) and take it out and put it on a table
          (and retrieve it later on), cut up the antidoron and place it on a
          tray, etc., etc.... then there is no possible way he can perform the
          Liturgy properly and with good order.

          In addition, the priest needs to have an assistant because he is
          supposed to keep his mind on the performing of the Mysteries, and not
          be distracted by all those little mundane tasks that I just mentioned.

          If the priest is serving with a deacon and there is no altar server
          available, then the deacon may do double duty, since he too is the
          priest's assistant.

          I don't know if it's my Old Believer background or what, but I find
          the scenario of a priest serving the Liturgy for himself and his wife
          pretty appalling. First of all, he does not have a server or a proper
          congregation. Furthermore, it goes against canonical principles. If he
          decides to serve the Liturgy in hopes that more people will show up
          later, then this is a warped ideology. People are supposed to show up
          for the whole service, and those who show up late, especially after
          the Gospel reading, should not be allowed to partake of Communion
          because they have not met the requirements of preparation. The priest
          has no business or canonical justification of serving a "speculative"
          Liturgy. --- OK, this is my opinion, so please forgive me if it's at
          odds with what you your opinion is. I welcome anyone's response in
          this matter.

          Nikita

          --- In russian_typikon@yahoogroups.com, "wholste" <wholste@y...> wrote:
          > S prazdnikom vsekh pozdravlyayu!
          >
          > I have a question arising out of curiosity, but which could have
          > real application in present-day America.
          >
          > In the "Uchitel'noe izvestie", it says that a priest cannot serve
          > services, and especially not the Liturgy, unless he has an altar
          > server to assist him.
          >
          > Now, I know that priests cannot serve alone, but is this rule about
          > servers generally followed? Was it ever followed? If it were a
          > weekday Liturgy, and no one was there except the priest and his
          > matushka, could he serve, or must he have a server?
          >
          > I know that not everything in the Uchitel'noe izvestie is followed,
          > or normative. For example, it says that the Liturgy must be
          > celebrated in a consecrated church, but that is often not the case
          > here in America.
          >
          > So, what is the general practice on this?
          >
          > In Christ,
          >
          > Hermogen
        • William Holste
          Thanks for your reply, Nikita! I definitely see what you mean about preserving order. It would clearly be best for a priest to have an altar server. But, just
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 9 9:35 AM
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            Thanks for your reply, Nikita!

            I definitely see what you mean about preserving order.
            It would clearly be best for a priest to have an altar
            server. But, just for the sake of discussion, what if
            a priest had twenty women show up for Liturgy, but no
            one to assist him in the altar? Do you think it would
            be appropriate for him to serve anyway?

            As far as a priest serving with just his wife as a
            congregation, which canonical principle does this
            violate? He has a congregation, though it may just be
            one person.

            Finally, concerning people coming late to Liturgy: I
            don't know about the Old Rite, but this is common
            everywhere in New Rite parishes. I have been at many
            liturgies where, by the time the Hours finished, only
            Father, a reader, and I were in the church. By the end
            of the Liturgy, more than twenty people were there.
            So, it often happens that people do come, and some of
            those have valid reasons for arriving at church five
            or ten minutes after the start of the Liturgy.

            I am interested to see what everyone else says about
            this topic. I find the question to be fascinating.

            BTW, Nikita, you are definitely in my prayers.

            In Christ God,

            Hermogen


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          • Isaac E. Lambertsen
            Dear Nikita, The quorum of 12 observed by some Old Ritualist communities seem to me reminiscent of the minyan of the Jews, who require 12 men in order to
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 9 10:43 PM
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              Re: [russian_typikon] Re: Question about priests and servers Dear Nikita,

              The quorum of 12 observed by some Old Ritualist communities seem to me reminiscent of the "minyan" of the Jews, who require 12 men in order to have a service (one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel).  I wonder if this might not in some way be a vestige of the Judaizer movement of the 15th or 16th centuries in Russia.  I also wonder if our Savior did not purposely state that "where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am in their midst" as a refutation of the minyan prescription.  If so, your assessment of the 12-person quorum as a "good idea" may need to be reconsidered.

              Just a couple of thoughts.

              Yours in Christ,

              Isaac.

              From: "Nikita" <starina77@...>
              Among some Old Believer communities they have
              decided upon a quarum system, where there needs to be a minimum of 12
              people present (12 Apostles symbolism?) in order for the priest to
              begin the Liturgy; if not, then the Typica is performed. While this is
              not a canonical legislation, it certainly seems like a good idea.
            • Steve Puluka
              on 6/10/03 1:43 AM, Isaac E. Lambertsen at isaac@ilector.com wrote: The quorum of 12 observed by some Old Ritualist communities seem to me reminiscent of the
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 10 3:09 AM
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                Re: [russian_typikon] Re: Question about priests and servers on 6/10/03 1:43 AM, Isaac E. Lambertsen at isaac@... wrote:

                The quorum of 12 observed by some Old Ritualist communities seem to me reminiscent of the "minyan" of the Jews, who require 12 men in order to have a service (one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel).  I wonder if this might not in some way be a vestige of the Judaizer movement of the 15th or 16th centuries in Russia.  I also wonder if our Savior did not purposely state that "where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am in their midst" as a refutation of the minyan prescription.  If so, your assessment of the 12-person quorum as a "good idea" may need to be reconsidered.

                Dear Isaac,

                I was taught by a conservative Jew in my home town that the quorum for prayer in Orthodox and conservative Judaism is ten men.  The symbolism is completeness in ancient numerology.  Minyan is simply Hebrew for the "number," meaning the quorum.

                Naturally, your interpretation of Jesus' comments still applies.

                Steve Puluka
                Cantor Holy Ghost Church
                Mckees Rocks, PA
                http://www.geocities.com/spuluka

              • Fr. John Whiteford
                It is also based on God s promise to Abraham that if he could find ten righteous men in Sodom, he would have spared it. ... =====
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 10 4:15 AM
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                  It is also based on God's promise to Abraham that if
                  he could find ten righteous men in Sodom, he would
                  have spared it.


                  --- Steve Puluka <spuluka@...> wrote:
                  > on 6/10/03 1:43 AM, Isaac E. Lambertsen at
                  > isaac@... wrote:
                  >
                  > The quorum of 12 observed by some Old Ritualist
                  > communities seem to me
                  > reminiscent of the "minyan" of the Jews, who require
                  > 12 men in order to have
                  > a service (one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel).
                  > I wonder if this might
                  > not in some way be a vestige of the Judaizer
                  > movement of the 15th or 16th
                  > centuries in Russia. I also wonder if our Savior
                  > did not purposely state
                  > that "where two or three are gathered together in My
                  > name, I am in their
                  > midst" as a refutation of the minyan prescription.
                  > If so, your assessment
                  > of the 12-person quorum as a "good idea" may need to
                  > be reconsidered.
                  >
                  > Dear Isaac,
                  >
                  > I was taught by a conservative Jew in my home town
                  > that the quorum for
                  > prayer in Orthodox and conservative Judaism is ten
                  > men. The symbolism is
                  > completeness in ancient numerology. Minyan is
                  > simply Hebrew for the
                  > "number," meaning the quorum.
                  >
                  > Naturally, your interpretation of Jesus' comments
                  > still applies.
                  >
                  > Steve Puluka
                  > Cantor Holy Ghost Church
                  > Mckees Rocks, PA
                  > http://www.geocities.com/spuluka
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  =====
                  *****************************************************************
                  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/
                • Nikita
                  Dear Isaac, I can assure you that there is no conscious knowledge of the Minyan tradition having any influence in the matter, nor would there be any conscious
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 10 8:39 AM
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                    Dear Isaac,

                    I can assure you that there is no conscious knowledge of the Minyan
                    tradition having any influence in the matter, nor would there be any
                    conscious attempt to perpetuate the Judaizer movement. (And Old
                    Believers, I'm sorry to say, share the same kind of subtle
                    anti-Semitic sentiments built into Russian culture in general.)

                    But you have brought up an interesting point, and I wonder where this
                    comes from. I certainly feel it's based on the 12 Apostles quorum, but
                    you might have a valid accessment that it's an unwitting holdover from
                    the Judaizer movement. This would require further research, but quite
                    frankly I think there are other issues that are more pressing, and
                    this could best be resolved when we run out of things to talk about.

                    As for why Jesus did away with the minyan system, I'm certain that
                    there were some pretty solid pros and cons in His day, and those same
                    pros and cons could still be argued today. Personally I feel that the
                    "two or three" principle is better because it places less restriction
                    on people being able to recieve grace and blessings from God through
                    worship and the Mysteries. But while I consciously know that this is
                    better for the Church, I still like the idea of having some form of a
                    quorum in order to offer the services properly; this, however, is just
                    a personal preference and maybe I do need to reconsider it.

                    However, the argument of having a quorum of 2 or 3 as opposed to a
                    larger quorum only applies in the situation of whether or not to
                    celebrate the Divine Liturgy, not the other offices; if there are not
                    enough people present to actually serve the Liturgy (this ties in with
                    an earlier part of this thread about how many people are necessary to
                    serve the Liturgy), then among Old Believers the priest serves the
                    Typica (and maybe a moleben) instead. In our tradition, the priest is
                    also going to know by the end of Vespers just how many people are
                    going to be coming to communion, and if there is no one, then he may
                    opt to serve the Typica instead of the Liturgy (but this usually only
                    happens when it's a lesser feast on a weekday). In the New Rite there
                    seems to be more of an emphasis on the necessity of the Liturgy being
                    served *no matter what*, but in the Old Rite there is a greater
                    allowance for opting to serve the Typica when the priest is not
                    feeling well or if he knows that there will be no one communing.

                    In XC,
                    Nikita

                    --- In russian_typikon@yahoogroups.com, "Isaac E. Lambertsen"
                    <isaac@i...> wrote:
                    > Dear Nikita,
                    >
                    > The quorum of 12 observed by some Old Ritualist communities seem to me
                    > reminiscent of the "minyan" of the Jews, who require 12 men in order
                    to have
                    > a service (one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel). I wonder if
                    this might
                    > not in some way be a vestige of the Judaizer movement of the 15th or
                    16th
                    > centuries in Russia. I also wonder if our Savior did not purposely
                    state
                    > that "where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am in their
                    > midst" as a refutation of the minyan prescription. If so, your
                    assessment
                    > of the 12-person quorum as a "good idea" may need to be reconsidered.
                    >
                    > Just a couple of thoughts.
                    >
                    > Yours in Christ,
                    >
                    > Isaac.
                    >
                    > From: "Nikita" <starina77@y...>
                    > Among some Old Believer communities they have
                    > decided upon a quarum system, where there needs to be a minimum of 12
                    > people present (12 Apostles symbolism?) in order for the priest to
                    > begin the Liturgy; if not, then the Typica is performed. While this is
                    > not a canonical legislation, it certainly seems like a good idea.
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