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[ustav] Re: A few Liturgical questions

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  • Rev. John R. Shaw
    Regarding these questions, there may be some variety of answers. As concerns Question No. 1, as to whether or not a priest should bless someone in the presence
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 7, 1999
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      Regarding these questions, there may be some variety of answers. As
      concerns Question No. 1, as to whether or not a priest should bless
      someone in the presence of a bishop, --there is indeed such a tradition in
      the Russian Orthodox Church, I think the Church in Russia as well as the
      Church Abroad. The idea behind this is that the priest only acts in the
      name of the bishop, and that if the bishop is present, the priest does not
      give a person, or even a congregation, his blessing, at least in the same
      room. When I was a lad and a recent convert, I would sometimes ask a
      blessing from a priest (they were all "old-school" then, 30 years ago!),
      but if there was also a bishop nearby, they would usually pull me into an
      adjoining room and bless me there, rather than refuse to bless altogether.
      After that happened two or three times I got the picture...
      As for Question 2, if there are several deacons, normally the
      junior deacon (in terms of when he was ordained) consumes the Holy Gifts.
      However, the deacons often discuss these things among themselves and
      decide who is going to do what...
      Point No. 3 was about the use of "cuffs". The tradition in most of
      the rest of the Orthodox Church is that they are worn only as part of the
      "full vestments"--and the priest normally wears only the epitrachilion and
      phelonion at Night Vigil, baptisms, weddings and the like. However, in
      many Russian Churches, at least in the diaspora, priests wear the cuffs
      also when they wear the "lesser vestments", and some never perform any
      service without cuffs, even blessing an icon. In this regard, Archbishop
      Alypy suggested a rule of wearing the cuffs at any service where the
      Gospel will be read. However, no one forbids their use at other times
      also.
      Fr. John R. Shaw


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    • Rev. John R. Shaw
      The priest is, in theory, blessing the taper bearers, but perhaps they can be seen as symbolizing the congregation too. At any rate, the majority of priests
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 7, 1999
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        The priest is, in theory, blessing the taper bearers, but perhaps they can
        be seen as symbolizing the congregation too. At any rate, the majority of
        priests still bless even if there is no server at all--and in every
        parish, people in the congregation bow to receive the blessing.
        If the bisho is present, the priest only bows towards the West and
        does not make the sign of the Cross with his hand.
        I recall haring also, that St. John Maximovitch, wherever the
        priest bowed to the congreation without blessing, was wont to step out
        and give the blessing himself. Otherwise, as he saw it, no one blessed at
        all--neither the priest, nor the bishop.

        On Wed, 7 Jul 1999, Brian M. Donley wrote:

        > 24-June/7-July-99
        > Nativity of St. John the Forerunner
        >
        > Father Michael, bless.
        >
        > "Fr. Michael Spainhoward" wrote:
        > ...
        >
        > > 3. I am not sure on this one. The rule of thumb seems to be, rightly or
        > > wrongly, that if the service to be served is a sacrament, then the cuffs
        > > are worn. Someone else could educate me on this one as well.
        >
        > As I recall, the priest at our parish told me that he wears the cuffs for
        > all services where the Gospel is read too (Matins, molieben, ...).
        >
        > Ustavniki-
        > A question of my own cropped up again last night during the Great Vespers
        > for today's feast.
        > In our parish, at the end of "O Joyous Light," the priest turns and
        > blesses people in the nave. During my brief service in the sanctuary, I
        > thought that the priest told me that he's blessing the taper bearer(s) before
        > they return to the sanctuary. However, I routinely see several people in the
        > nave bow at the blessing (congregation, choristers).
        > My basic question is- is the priest blessing the taper bearer(s) only, or
        > the whole lot in the nave?
        > Thanks much & joyous feast to all.
        >
        > Your in Christ,
        > Reader Maelrubha
        >
        >
        >
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      • fralexis@avana.net
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 7, 1999
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        • Isaac E. Lambertsen
          Dear Ustav listers, Here at the Synodal Cathedral in New York, often during the course of the year we have capacity crowds, and use two, or even three,
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 7, 1999
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            Dear Ustav listers,

            Here at the Synodal Cathedral in New York, often during the course of the
            year we have capacity crowds, and use two, or even three, chalices to
            distribute the Holy Mysteries. As others have pointed out, though, only one
            chalice is consecrated. After the clergy have communed, the Holy Mysteries
            are very carefully transferred to the other two chalices. If two chalices
            are used, the senior cleric (metropolitan, bishop or senior priest) gives
            out Communion from the ambo, as usual, while the junior cleric does so from
            the bishop's cathedra in the middle of the church. When three chalices are
            used, the two senior clerics distribute from either side of the ambo, while
            the junior cleric does so from the cathedra.

            Hope this is of interest.

            Sincerely,

            Isaac Lambertsen.

            ----------
            >From: PraviSrbin@...
            >To: ustav@egroups.com
            >Subject: [ustav] Re: A few Liturgical questions
            >Date: Wed, Jul 7, 1999, 3:16 PM
            >

            > In a message dated 7/7/99 11:23:14 AM Eastern Daylight Time, cm1984@...
            > writes:
            >
            > << >4. Is it right, do you think, to use more than one Holy Chalice at the
            > >Divine Liturgy, just because there are many people? In Europe I had never
            > >seen this done.
            >
            > One cup is consecrated, but several may be used for distribution when there
            > are large numbers of communicants and several clergy officiating. I have
            > experienced this several times in different churches in UK. >>
            >
            >
            > When in Jordanville this past September for the Anniversary, two Holy
            > Chalices were used...if I'm not mistaken. Just a thought.
            >
            > In Christ,
            > Nikolaj Kostur
            >
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          • Bishop Tikhon
            Here are my two cents on the questions put by Fr. Deacon Vsevolod. 1. It is most assuredly a widely observed rule in Russian Orthodox Churches and among those
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 7, 1999
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              Here are my two cents on the questions put by Fr. Deacon Vsevolod.

              1. It is most assuredly a widely observed rule in Russian Orthodox Churches
              and among those to whom the Russian Church's customs, usages, and
              traditions were passed on, that Priest's do not bless any individuals who
              may ask for such a blessing when a Hierarch is present. It is true that
              some Priests may define "is present" in different ways (Does "present" mean
              anywhere in the sacred precincts, or just within shouting distance, or when
              he's gone to bed, and so forth?).
              During the service, the same rule holds, but in some places there are
              modifications. One must consult one's Hierarch on this. Some Hierarchs
              allow a serving Priest to bless the Reader of the Epistle after he has read
              it, but not give any "general" Peace. Some may also allow a serving Priest
              to bless the candle bearer at the Little Entrance at Vespers. Yes, this
              blessing is just the blessing of the Light and the one carrying it, and not
              a general blessing of the assembled Faithful. (By the way, I and most of
              the Hierarchs I know would insist, I believe, on only ONE taper-bearer at
              the Vespers Little Entrance, as this ONE taper represents the ONE
              Gladsome Light-Christ.)

              2. The Deacon that did the Proskomedia with the Priest is the one that
              should consume the Gifts. However, it is now widely practiced that other
              Deacons help out, especially if today's "de rigueur" custom of having
              multiple chalices is observed. The senior Deacon should be the last word on
              this.

              3. I have never performed any sacred function that required the
              Epitrachelion without also putting on the poruchi-cuffs. I think I would
              raise both eyebrows if a Priest did not wear cuffs at Holy Baptism,
              Communion of the Sick, Anointing, Blessing of Waters, but I have never
              insisted that Priests wear the cuffs unless full vesting is prescribed. A
              senior Archpriest who graduated from the Academy of St. Sergius in Paris
              told me at a Baptism that he always wore his cuffs in order to "crush the
              adversaries." I agree with that pious thought.

              4. It is not "wrong" to use more than one Chalice, but I avoid it. There
              are still huge chalices in existence, with large handles on each side so
              that two Deacons could support it while the Priest or Bishop imparted the
              Mysteries. IN other places a special table/support was provided for that
              purpose. I feel that there is something uplifting if all commune right out
              of the same Cup, and not out of the same Cup via a secondary one. Sometimes
              it is hard to resist pressure from even the devout to use more than one
              Cup, especially at the Paschal Divine Liturgy, in order to shorten the time
              of Holy Communion. I understand this. However, I feel it is quite improper
              to use more than one Cup simply because one has more than one Priest/Bishop
              present. I also am Extremely nervous about the actual process of
              transferring some of the Mysteries from one Cup into another. No matter how
              careful or skillful one may be, one is still making one more opportunity
              for a horrifying accident. Of course, we are developing a new kind of
              piety and discipline here in America and, perhaps, generally in modern
              times. I know of several Priests that have large congregations, most of
              whom Commune every Sunday, that insist that they have to have a second
              Priest to impart Holy Communion. I've even heard that in the East, Priests
              *routinely* allow the Deacons to impart the Mysteries from a second Cup,
              "in order to lighten the load," and "to save time." These are the same
              Priests that depend on General "Confession" to protect themselves from
              having to hear "too many" Confessions "all the time", or, horror of
              horrors, Every Sunday!
              They should, perhaps be given "orientation" tours (or "re-orientation"
              tours) to Russia, where I understand, one can still observe Priests
              patiently hearing hundreds of individual Confessions all the time, and
              where if two Cups are used, the lines going to *either* Cup are more
              populous than the entire parishes of some using two Cups in America.

              At 09:32 AM 7/7/1999 -0400, you wrote:
              >Dear Ustav friends!
              >
              >I had a few questions I would like to share with you and see the different
              >local traditions there are.
              >
              >1. Is there such a tradition that Priests should not bless anyone in the
              >presence of a Bishop, whether in church during a service or not? In Europe I
              >have seen this tradition, and if there is a Bishop, then the priests would
              >not bless anyone who approached them for a blessing.
              >2. Is there such a tradition that if more than one Deacon serve, they all
              >consume? I have heard that this is done here in the US in some churches, and
              >I have heard it is also done in Russia in certain churches. I was taught
              >that the youngest Deacon (by ordination, of course) would be the one to
              >consume.
              >3. Must a Priest always wear the "Poruchi" (I think it is Cuffs in English)
              >when he serves, or are there services or "Treby", e.g. a Panihida, or even a
              >Confession, where the Priest only wears the Epitrahelion. And should the
              >Priest wear the "Poruchi" at the All Night Vigil, under the Ryasa, or should
              >he just wear the Epitrahelion, and the Phelonion when needed?
              >4. Is it right, do you think, to use more than one Holy Chalice at the
              >Divine Liturgy, just because there are many people? In Europe I had never
              >seen this done.
              >
              >Than you.
              >
              >In Christ,
              >deacon Vsevolod
              >
              >
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