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Reading prayers of the Liturgy by the celebrant.

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  • Seraphim Holland
    This is an interesting read. I do not have the liturgical background to know how correct its viewpoint is. I offer it for comment.
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 2, 2009
      This is an interesting read. I do not have the liturgical background to know
      how correct its viewpoint is. I offer it for comment.

      http://www.archdiocese.ca/e_resources/pdf/ReadingThePrayers.pdf

      I have a few comments.

      1. I ain't gonna do nuthin' different without specific direction from my
      bishop. I am no hurry to do anything.
      2. I wonder if this will ever be a topic for the Russian Church to consider.

      3. It always seems me to to be a bit of an oxymoron for followers of the New
      Calendar, which has ruined much of the interplay between the Menaion and the
      Paschalion, to talk about liturgical order.
      4. I have seen the prayers said by the celebrant rather theatrically - it
      left me cold.
      5. I am very uncomfortable with some in the church reading the prayers
      aloud/very loud/in a whisper. From church to church, the practice is
      different. This seems to me to be innovation, and disorderly. We should not
      make things up, even if we are incredible liturgical scholars!
      6. When I hear these prayers exspecially in "You hoo" style, my skin crawls.

      7. Discomfort in the liturgy because something is really different is REALLY
      UNCOMFORTABLE.

      --
      Priest Seraphim Holland 972 529-2754 CELL:972 658-5433
      ST NICHOLAS ORTHODOX CHURCH:http://www.orthodox.net
      PARISH EMAIL:http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church
      BLOG:http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime
      BLOG RSS feed:
      http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/redeemingthetime
      Podcast (homilies) RSS feed:
      http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianSermonsOnTheGospelsEpistlesAndOtherTopics
      Catechetical Talks RSS Podcast:
      http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianCatecheticalTalks


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Molly Grabowski
      Bless Father - It seems to me that reverting to practices of the past is not always the Orthodoxiest thing to do. We all know that It is Truly Meet was
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 2, 2009
        Bless Father -

        It seems to me that reverting to practices of the past is not always the
        Orthodoxiest thing to do. We all know that "It is Truly Meet" was
        added, I say ADDED, to the liturgy rather late in the grand scheme of
        things. Does anyone want to do away with that in order to make it more
        clear to the faithful that "I vsyek I vsya" is a continuation of the
        Anaphora? I believe that the Trisagion is a relative new comer as well.

        And if they really want to be the canonical-est, why don't they start
        with getting rid of the organs. I could go on.


        Theodora
      • Steve Robinson
        I also was a bit stunned by them, being Greek, citing this passage and viewing it through the lens of audibility and not comprehensability with all the
        Message 3 of 12 , Feb 2, 2009
          I also was a bit stunned by them, being Greek, citing this passage and viewing it through the lens of "audibility" and not "comprehensability" with all the controversy in the GOA about "Greek only/English only" and Holy Cross' entrenchment in holding most of its services in liturgical Greek and insisting on even convert seminarians learning Greek, which virtually everyone acknowledges not even the Greeks understand.
          This one tradition reflects the Pauline epistle (1 Cor. 14:16-17) that a member of the Laity cannot respond with "Amen" to the priest's prayers, if he does not understand them (consequently, if he does not hear them).

          hmmmmm,,,

          Sdn. s-p

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Seraphim Holland
          To: ustav@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, February 02, 2009 1:53 PM
          Subject: [ustav] Reading prayers of the Liturgy by the celebrant.


          This is an interesting read. I do not have the liturgical background to know
          how correct its viewpoint is. I offer it for comment.

          http://www.archdiocese.ca/e_resources/pdf/ReadingThePrayers.pdf

          I have a few comments.

          1. I ain't gonna do nuthin' different without specific direction from my
          bishop. I am no hurry to do anything.
          2. I wonder if this will ever be a topic for the Russian Church to consider.

          3. It always seems me to to be a bit of an oxymoron for followers of the New
          Calendar, which has ruined much of the interplay between the Menaion and the
          Paschalion, to talk about liturgical order.
          4. I have seen the prayers said by the celebrant rather theatrically - it
          left me cold.
          5. I am very uncomfortable with some in the church reading the prayers
          aloud/very loud/in a whisper. From church to church, the practice is
          different. This seems to me to be innovation, and disorderly. We should not
          make things up, even if we are incredible liturgical scholars!
          6. When I hear these prayers exspecially in "You hoo" style, my skin crawls.

          7. Discomfort in the liturgy because something is really different is REALLY
          UNCOMFORTABLE.

          --
          Priest Seraphim Holland 972 529-2754 CELL:972 658-5433
          ST NICHOLAS ORTHODOX CHURCH:http://www.orthodox.net
          PARISH EMAIL:http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church
          BLOG:http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime
          BLOG RSS feed:
          http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/redeemingthetime
          Podcast (homilies) RSS feed:
          http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianSermonsOnTheGospelsEpistlesAndOtherTopics
          Catechetical Talks RSS Podcast:
          http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianCatecheticalTalks

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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        • Nikita Simmons
          I feel like writing something like an editor s column today. But beware that it has a touch of sarcastic wit.
          Message 4 of 12 , Feb 2, 2009
            I feel like writing something like an "editor's column" today. But
            beware that it has a touch of sarcastic wit. <insert sound of Nikita
            deftly sharpening his quill>

            I concur with what Fr. Seraphim had to say on the matter, but I read
            this document from two other perspectives.

            As someone who has worked in publishing for two decades and who has
            worked some of that time as an editor, I was initially aware (and
            entirely distracted) by the convoluted sentence and thought structure.
            It is abundantly obvious that this was a translation from literary
            Greek. OK, this is a minor point, ...but I then had to go back and
            read the thing a second time for actual content.

            From the other perspective of being an Old Ritualist, and being
            thoroughly bound into a cohesive liturgical tradition (which works
            very well, thank you), my response is an emphatic "Poppycock!"
            (mid-19th cent., from Dutch "pappekak" -- 'pap', soft + 'kak', dung).

            It is nonsense to think that this will be received well, for three
            reasons:

            1) The average person (regardless of the times we live in) typically
            does not want to get so deeply involved in the inner workings of the
            Divine Liturgy, that it becomes a distraction from prayer to attempt
            to take in and comprehend it all. The majority of folks want a
            spiritual experience that is not too intellectual, but appeals to both
            the spirit and the intellect. Simply stated, most folks don't want to
            come to church to be overwhelmed. (And we all know that when we get
            overwhelmed, the brain shuts down and won't let anything more come in.)

            2) Most of us still want to have a bit of "mystery" left in the
            Mysteries -- some of the "holy" left in the "Holy of Holies". By
            giving us everything and holding nothing back, it robs us of that
            which all want a bit more of: "the Unknowable Mystery". This is one of
            the greatest atrocities of the Vatican II Council: it took the sacred
            out of the sanctuary and gave it to the people, who then took it for
            granted and became apathetic towards their experience of the Mass (and
            the Mysteries in general). If we want to understand these prayers,
            there is nothing stopping people from asking their priest or reading
            them somewhere on the internet, but reading them all aloud to everyone
            simply ruins the aesthetic of a spiritual tradition which is in no
            wise flawed or incomplete.

            3) People gripe enough already about how much time the services take,
            especially in some of these modernist "lukewarm" parishes that place
            much emphasis on ethnicity as a means of salvation, as well as the
            all-venerable "coffee hour". By reading these prayers aloud, this is
            going to add considerably more time standing around (or lounging in
            the pews), straining to hear what the priest is saying with his back
            turned to the congregation. The end result is that many people are
            going to get frustrated and impatient that they will be getting out of
            church later, and that means that the coffee hour is going to start
            later, and "OMG, what will that do with the rest of my day?!"

            The bishops of the Church of Greece may try to introduce this
            "re-innovation", but I hardly think that it can and will be enforced.
            Moreover, the backlash is likely to be great, from traditionalists and
            modernists alike.

            Again, I say "Poppycock!"

            - Nikita Simmons

            P.S. As an afterthought, I recall that one year when I was a
            parishioner in Erie, PA (Church of the Nativity), we used Fr.
            Schmemann's book "The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom" as a text
            for our Sunday School class (for the entire season). Our priest
            explained all the prayers of the Liturgy, including the priest's
            "secret" prayers, the Anaphora, etc., and we discussed these prayers
            in considerable depth. While we all greatly benefited from this class,
            the overwhelming opinion was that the priest's "secret" prayers should
            remain "quietly read" as had been done all along. Perhaps having a
            similar Sunday School program in every parish is the best solution for
            those who want a fuller experience of the Liturgy than they are
            already getting.


            --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com, Seraphim Holland <seraphim@...> wrote:
            >
            > This is an interesting read. I do not have the liturgical background
            to know
            > how correct its viewpoint is. I offer it for comment.
            >
            > http://www.archdiocese.ca/e_resources/pdf/ReadingThePrayers.pdf
            >
            > I have a few comments.
            >
            > 1. I ain't gonna do nuthin' different without specific direction from my
            > bishop. I am no hurry to do anything.
            > 2. I wonder if this will ever be a topic for the Russian Church to
            consider.
            >
            > 3. It always seems me to to be a bit of an oxymoron for followers of
            the New
            > Calendar, which has ruined much of the interplay between the Menaion
            and the
            > Paschalion, to talk about liturgical order.
            > 4. I have seen the prayers said by the celebrant rather theatrically
            - it
            > left me cold.
            > 5. I am very uncomfortable with some in the church reading the prayers
            > aloud/very loud/in a whisper. From church to church, the practice is
            > different. This seems to me to be innovation, and disorderly. We
            should not
            > make things up, even if we are incredible liturgical scholars!
            > 6. When I hear these prayers exspecially in "You hoo" style, my skin
            crawls.
            >
            > 7. Discomfort in the liturgy because something is really different
            is REALLY
            > UNCOMFORTABLE.
            >
            > --
            > Priest Seraphim Holland 972 529-2754 CELL:972 658-5433
            > ST NICHOLAS ORTHODOX CHURCH:http://www.orthodox.net
            > PARISH
            EMAIL:http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church
            > BLOG:http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime
            > BLOG RSS feed:
            > http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/redeemingthetime
            > Podcast (homilies) RSS feed:
            >
            http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianSermonsOnTheGospelsEpistlesAndOtherTopics
            > Catechetical Talks RSS Podcast:
            > http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianCatecheticalTalks
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Gabriel Sanchez
            I ll come out first and say that this issue is worth exploring and discussing, regardless of the jurisdictional origins of this document. The movement towards
            Message 5 of 12 , Feb 2, 2009
              I'll come out first and say that this issue is worth exploring and
              discussing, regardless of the jurisdictional origins of this document.

              The movement towards reading the prayers outloud is certainly not new. Its
              clearest intellectual exponent--at least in the United States--was Fr.
              Alexander Schmemann and his liturgical theology (which, in some respects,
              was just an extension of work conducted by Anglican and Roman Catholic
              scholars). Given Fr. Alexander's rather polarizing position amongst
              Orthodox, many of his ideas have been discarded wholesale without further
              consideration. That's unfortunate since, despite some of the errors in his
              thinking and the ideological assumptions he adopted early in his scholarly
              career, not everything he proposed was to the detriment of liturgical
              order. Certainly not everything he wrote amounted to an advocacy for or
              defense of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Without getting into that
              issue, arguably his writings from the 1960's on problems with the Church in
              America actually cut against a lot of what the OCA became (or, if you
              prefer, ever was from the outset).

              As for reading the prayers outloud, the gist of the argument is that it
              removes what critics see as the artificial barriers in the liturgy and allow
              for full participation of the faithful. I have seen that approach applied
              well and not so well. When it's done right, it flows seamlessly with the
              liturgy as most typically experience it while opening up the full
              theological import of the service to all present. When done poorly, it has
              become an excuse for a priest to--pardon the expression--"liturgically
              showboat" and end up creating an atmosphere of separation between the
              "charismatic priest" and his "audience." (Of course, this is less egregious
              than the reports which have been in circulation for some time that priests
              from some jurisdictions skip the "silent prayers" altogether.)

              Personally, I don't mind either way and I consider myself fairly sensitive
              to most arguments against "playing" with the services. But, let's also be
              honest: many parishes, including ones in ROCOR, abbreviate and make
              alterations to the services for a variety of reasons. The typical
              (and certainly not unfounded) justification is that parish practice cannot
              be monastic practice and so, e.g., the kathisma reading at Vespers is
              typically dropped, the sung Psalms at the Vigil are reduced to a few verses,
              readings from the Menaion are dropped, litya isn't served, etc. Some will
              say that's different and the liturgy should never be touched (both because
              of its unique place in the order of the Church's services and its relative
              brevity). That's fine. On the other hand, what's more destructive to the
              purpose or *telos* of a service: Removing prophetic Scriptural readings or
              not telling the catechumens to take a hike?

              Just a thought.



              On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 2:53 PM, Seraphim Holland <seraphim@...>wrote:

              > This is an interesting read. I do not have the liturgical background to
              > know
              > how correct its viewpoint is. I offer it for comment.
              >
              > http://www.archdiocese.ca/e_resources/pdf/ReadingThePrayers.pdf
              >
              > I have a few comments.
              >
              > 1. I ain't gonna do nuthin' different without specific direction from my
              > bishop. I am no hurry to do anything.
              > 2. I wonder if this will ever be a topic for the Russian Church to
              > consider.
              >
              > 3. It always seems me to to be a bit of an oxymoron for followers of the
              > New
              > Calendar, which has ruined much of the interplay between the Menaion and
              > the
              > Paschalion, to talk about liturgical order.
              > 4. I have seen the prayers said by the celebrant rather theatrically - it
              > left me cold.
              > 5. I am very uncomfortable with some in the church reading the prayers
              > aloud/very loud/in a whisper. From church to church, the practice is
              > different. This seems to me to be innovation, and disorderly. We should not
              > make things up, even if we are incredible liturgical scholars!
              > 6. When I hear these prayers exspecially in "You hoo" style, my skin
              > crawls.
              >
              > 7. Discomfort in the liturgy because something is really different is
              > REALLY
              > UNCOMFORTABLE.
              >
              > --
              > Priest Seraphim Holland 972 529-2754 CELL:972 658-5433
              > ST NICHOLAS ORTHODOX CHURCH:http://www.orthodox.net
              > PARISH EMAIL:http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church
              > BLOG:http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime
              > BLOG RSS feed:
              > http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/redeemingthetime
              > Podcast (homilies) RSS feed:
              >
              > http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianSermonsOnTheGospelsEpistlesAndOtherTopics
              > Catechetical Talks RSS Podcast:
              > http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianCatecheticalTalks
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Gabriel Sanchez
              Nikita, I think you make some good points, but in my experience I have found that in terms of actual time, a priest normally intoning the secret prayers in
              Message 6 of 12 , Feb 2, 2009
                Nikita,

                I think you make some good points, but in my experience I have found that in
                terms of actual time, a priest normally intoning the "secret prayers" in the
                same manner as the rest of the liturgy adds no more than 10 minutes than
                what I've experienced in parishes where this isn't a practice. (However, to
                be fair, the two parishes I am thinking of where these prayers are intoned
                also drop Psalm 33 from the end of the service.) What tends to make the
                biggest difference in overall time of the service seems to be: (1) The time
                the clergy take for Communion; and (2) The overall number of communicants in
                a given parish from week to week.

                As for the point about being theologically overwhelmed, I suspect that much
                of the Divine Liturgy is opaque unless it is discussed and placed into
                context. The easiest way to rectify this--as you mentioned--is in the
                context of adult Sunday school, which I am certainly all for.

                On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 7:48 PM, Nikita Simmons <starina77@...> wrote:

                > I feel like writing something like an "editor's column" today. But
                > beware that it has a touch of sarcastic wit. <insert sound of Nikita
                > deftly sharpening his quill>
                >
                > I concur with what Fr. Seraphim had to say on the matter, but I read
                > this document from two other perspectives.
                >
                > As someone who has worked in publishing for two decades and who has
                > worked some of that time as an editor, I was initially aware (and
                > entirely distracted) by the convoluted sentence and thought structure.
                > It is abundantly obvious that this was a translation from literary
                > Greek. OK, this is a minor point, ...but I then had to go back and
                > read the thing a second time for actual content.
                >
                > From the other perspective of being an Old Ritualist, and being
                > thoroughly bound into a cohesive liturgical tradition (which works
                > very well, thank you), my response is an emphatic "Poppycock!"
                > (mid-19th cent., from Dutch "pappekak" -- 'pap', soft + 'kak', dung).
                >
                > It is nonsense to think that this will be received well, for three
                > reasons:
                >
                > 1) The average person (regardless of the times we live in) typically
                > does not want to get so deeply involved in the inner workings of the
                > Divine Liturgy, that it becomes a distraction from prayer to attempt
                > to take in and comprehend it all. The majority of folks want a
                > spiritual experience that is not too intellectual, but appeals to both
                > the spirit and the intellect. Simply stated, most folks don't want to
                > come to church to be overwhelmed. (And we all know that when we get
                > overwhelmed, the brain shuts down and won't let anything more come in.)
                >
                > 2) Most of us still want to have a bit of "mystery" left in the
                > Mysteries -- some of the "holy" left in the "Holy of Holies". By
                > giving us everything and holding nothing back, it robs us of that
                > which all want a bit more of: "the Unknowable Mystery". This is one of
                > the greatest atrocities of the Vatican II Council: it took the sacred
                > out of the sanctuary and gave it to the people, who then took it for
                > granted and became apathetic towards their experience of the Mass (and
                > the Mysteries in general). If we want to understand these prayers,
                > there is nothing stopping people from asking their priest or reading
                > them somewhere on the internet, but reading them all aloud to everyone
                > simply ruins the aesthetic of a spiritual tradition which is in no
                > wise flawed or incomplete.
                >
                > 3) People gripe enough already about how much time the services take,
                > especially in some of these modernist "lukewarm" parishes that place
                > much emphasis on ethnicity as a means of salvation, as well as the
                > all-venerable "coffee hour". By reading these prayers aloud, this is
                > going to add considerably more time standing around (or lounging in
                > the pews), straining to hear what the priest is saying with his back
                > turned to the congregation. The end result is that many people are
                > going to get frustrated and impatient that they will be getting out of
                > church later, and that means that the coffee hour is going to start
                > later, and "OMG, what will that do with the rest of my day?!"
                >
                > The bishops of the Church of Greece may try to introduce this
                > "re-innovation", but I hardly think that it can and will be enforced.
                > Moreover, the backlash is likely to be great, from traditionalists and
                > modernists alike.
                >
                > Again, I say "Poppycock!"
                >
                > - Nikita Simmons
                >
                > P.S. As an afterthought, I recall that one year when I was a
                > parishioner in Erie, PA (Church of the Nativity), we used Fr.
                > Schmemann's book "The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom" as a text
                > for our Sunday School class (for the entire season). Our priest
                > explained all the prayers of the Liturgy, including the priest's
                > "secret" prayers, the Anaphora, etc., and we discussed these prayers
                > in considerable depth. While we all greatly benefited from this class,
                > the overwhelming opinion was that the priest's "secret" prayers should
                > remain "quietly read" as had been done all along. Perhaps having a
                > similar Sunday School program in every parish is the best solution for
                > those who want a fuller experience of the Liturgy than they are
                > already getting.
                >
                >
                > --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com <ustav%40yahoogroups.com>, Seraphim Holland
                > <seraphim@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > This is an interesting read. I do not have the liturgical background
                > to know
                > > how correct its viewpoint is. I offer it for comment.
                > >
                > > http://www.archdiocese.ca/e_resources/pdf/ReadingThePrayers.pdf
                > >
                > > I have a few comments.
                > >
                > > 1. I ain't gonna do nuthin' different without specific direction from my
                > > bishop. I am no hurry to do anything.
                > > 2. I wonder if this will ever be a topic for the Russian Church to
                > consider.
                > >
                > > 3. It always seems me to to be a bit of an oxymoron for followers of
                > the New
                > > Calendar, which has ruined much of the interplay between the Menaion
                > and the
                > > Paschalion, to talk about liturgical order.
                > > 4. I have seen the prayers said by the celebrant rather theatrically
                > - it
                > > left me cold.
                > > 5. I am very uncomfortable with some in the church reading the prayers
                > > aloud/very loud/in a whisper. From church to church, the practice is
                > > different. This seems to me to be innovation, and disorderly. We
                > should not
                > > make things up, even if we are incredible liturgical scholars!
                > > 6. When I hear these prayers exspecially in "You hoo" style, my skin
                > crawls.
                > >
                > > 7. Discomfort in the liturgy because something is really different
                > is REALLY
                > > UNCOMFORTABLE.
                > >
                > > --
                > > Priest Seraphim Holland 972 529-2754 CELL:972 658-5433
                > > ST NICHOLAS ORTHODOX CHURCH:http://www.orthodox.net
                > > PARISH
                > EMAIL:http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church
                > > BLOG:http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime
                > > BLOG RSS feed:
                > > http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/redeemingthetime
                > > Podcast (homilies) RSS feed:
                > >
                >
                > http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianSermonsOnTheGospelsEpistlesAndOtherTopics
                > > Catechetical Talks RSS Podcast:
                > > http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianCatecheticalTalks
                > >
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • stephen_r1937
                Maybe we should make some distinctions here. The prayers of the two brief Litanies of the Faithful before the Cherubic Hymn, and the prayer of the Cherubic
                Message 7 of 12 , Feb 2, 2009
                  Maybe we should make some distinctions here. The prayers of the two
                  brief Litanies of the Faithful before the Cherubic Hymn, and the
                  prayer of the Cherubic Hymn itself, are examples of prayers of the
                  clergy or of the celebrating priest. The Faithful, despite the title
                  "Prayers of the Faithful," are referred to in the third person. I
                  cannot see much benefit from pronouncing these devotions of the clergy
                  audibly; I do not believe that they were ever intended to be said aloud.

                  On the other hand, consider the prayers with bowed heads of Vespers &
                  Mattins. These are the original final prayers of their respective
                  services; their entire function is to invoke God's blessing on those
                  who have completed the service in question (although the former also
                  refers to the faithful in the third person, the prayer is essentially
                  about them). And they are not long enough to add noticeably to the
                  length of the service. They were intended to be heard, and originally
                  were. I find myself wishing that they still were.

                  Stephen



                  --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com, Gabriel Sanchez <gabriel.s.sanchez@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Nikita,
                  >
                  > I think you make some good points, but in my experience I have found
                  that in
                  > terms of actual time, a priest normally intoning the "secret
                  prayers" in the
                  > same manner as the rest of the liturgy adds no more than 10 minutes than
                  > what I've experienced in parishes where this isn't a practice.
                  (However, to
                  > be fair, the two parishes I am thinking of where these prayers are
                  intoned
                  > also drop Psalm 33 from the end of the service.) What tends to make the
                  > biggest difference in overall time of the service seems to be: (1)
                  The time
                  > the clergy take for Communion; and (2) The overall number of
                  communicants in
                  > a given parish from week to week.
                  >
                  > As for the point about being theologically overwhelmed, I suspect
                  that much
                  > of the Divine Liturgy is opaque unless it is discussed and placed into
                  > context. The easiest way to rectify this--as you mentioned--is in the
                  > context of adult Sunday school, which I am certainly all for.
                  >
                  > On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 7:48 PM, Nikita Simmons <starina77@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > I feel like writing something like an "editor's column" today. But
                  > > beware that it has a touch of sarcastic wit. <insert sound of Nikita
                  > > deftly sharpening his quill>
                  > >
                  > > I concur with what Fr. Seraphim had to say on the matter, but I read
                  > > this document from two other perspectives.
                  > >
                  > > As someone who has worked in publishing for two decades and who has
                  > > worked some of that time as an editor, I was initially aware (and
                  > > entirely distracted) by the convoluted sentence and thought structure.
                  > > It is abundantly obvious that this was a translation from literary
                  > > Greek. OK, this is a minor point, ...but I then had to go back and
                  > > read the thing a second time for actual content.
                  > >
                  > > From the other perspective of being an Old Ritualist, and being
                  > > thoroughly bound into a cohesive liturgical tradition (which works
                  > > very well, thank you), my response is an emphatic "Poppycock!"
                  > > (mid-19th cent., from Dutch "pappekak" -- 'pap', soft + 'kak', dung).
                  > >
                  > > It is nonsense to think that this will be received well, for three
                  > > reasons:
                  > >
                  > > 1) The average person (regardless of the times we live in) typically
                  > > does not want to get so deeply involved in the inner workings of the
                  > > Divine Liturgy, that it becomes a distraction from prayer to attempt
                  > > to take in and comprehend it all. The majority of folks want a
                  > > spiritual experience that is not too intellectual, but appeals to both
                  > > the spirit and the intellect. Simply stated, most folks don't want to
                  > > come to church to be overwhelmed. (And we all know that when we get
                  > > overwhelmed, the brain shuts down and won't let anything more come
                  in.)
                  > >
                  > > 2) Most of us still want to have a bit of "mystery" left in the
                  > > Mysteries -- some of the "holy" left in the "Holy of Holies". By
                  > > giving us everything and holding nothing back, it robs us of that
                  > > which all want a bit more of: "the Unknowable Mystery". This is one of
                  > > the greatest atrocities of the Vatican II Council: it took the sacred
                  > > out of the sanctuary and gave it to the people, who then took it for
                  > > granted and became apathetic towards their experience of the Mass (and
                  > > the Mysteries in general). If we want to understand these prayers,
                  > > there is nothing stopping people from asking their priest or reading
                  > > them somewhere on the internet, but reading them all aloud to everyone
                  > > simply ruins the aesthetic of a spiritual tradition which is in no
                  > > wise flawed or incomplete.
                  > >
                  > > 3) People gripe enough already about how much time the services take,
                  > > especially in some of these modernist "lukewarm" parishes that place
                  > > much emphasis on ethnicity as a means of salvation, as well as the
                  > > all-venerable "coffee hour". By reading these prayers aloud, this is
                  > > going to add considerably more time standing around (or lounging in
                  > > the pews), straining to hear what the priest is saying with his back
                  > > turned to the congregation. The end result is that many people are
                  > > going to get frustrated and impatient that they will be getting out of
                  > > church later, and that means that the coffee hour is going to start
                  > > later, and "OMG, what will that do with the rest of my day?!"
                  > >
                  > > The bishops of the Church of Greece may try to introduce this
                  > > "re-innovation", but I hardly think that it can and will be enforced.
                  > > Moreover, the backlash is likely to be great, from traditionalists and
                  > > modernists alike.
                  > >
                  > > Again, I say "Poppycock!"
                  > >
                  > > - Nikita Simmons
                  > >
                  > > P.S. As an afterthought, I recall that one year when I was a
                  > > parishioner in Erie, PA (Church of the Nativity), we used Fr.
                  > > Schmemann's book "The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom" as a text
                  > > for our Sunday School class (for the entire season). Our priest
                  > > explained all the prayers of the Liturgy, including the priest's
                  > > "secret" prayers, the Anaphora, etc., and we discussed these prayers
                  > > in considerable depth. While we all greatly benefited from this class,
                  > > the overwhelming opinion was that the priest's "secret" prayers should
                  > > remain "quietly read" as had been done all along. Perhaps having a
                  > > similar Sunday School program in every parish is the best solution for
                  > > those who want a fuller experience of the Liturgy than they are
                  > > already getting.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com <ustav%40yahoogroups.com>, Seraphim
                  Holland
                  > > <seraphim@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > This is an interesting read. I do not have the liturgical background
                  > > to know
                  > > > how correct its viewpoint is. I offer it for comment.
                  > > >
                  > > > http://www.archdiocese.ca/e_resources/pdf/ReadingThePrayers.pdf
                  > > >
                  > > > I have a few comments.
                  > > >
                  > > > 1. I ain't gonna do nuthin' different without specific direction
                  from my
                  > > > bishop. I am no hurry to do anything.
                  > > > 2. I wonder if this will ever be a topic for the Russian Church to
                  > > consider.
                  > > >
                  > > > 3. It always seems me to to be a bit of an oxymoron for followers of
                  > > the New
                  > > > Calendar, which has ruined much of the interplay between the Menaion
                  > > and the
                  > > > Paschalion, to talk about liturgical order.
                  > > > 4. I have seen the prayers said by the celebrant rather theatrically
                  > > - it
                  > > > left me cold.
                  > > > 5. I am very uncomfortable with some in the church reading the
                  prayers
                  > > > aloud/very loud/in a whisper. From church to church, the practice is
                  > > > different. This seems to me to be innovation, and disorderly. We
                  > > should not
                  > > > make things up, even if we are incredible liturgical scholars!
                  > > > 6. When I hear these prayers exspecially in "You hoo" style, my skin
                  > > crawls.
                  > > >
                  > > > 7. Discomfort in the liturgy because something is really different
                  > > is REALLY
                  > > > UNCOMFORTABLE.
                  > > >
                  > > > --
                  > > > Priest Seraphim Holland 972 529-2754 CELL:972 658-5433
                  > > > ST NICHOLAS ORTHODOX CHURCH:http://www.orthodox.net
                  > > > PARISH
                  > > EMAIL:http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church
                  > > > BLOG:http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime
                  > > > BLOG RSS feed:
                  > > > http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/redeemingthetime
                  > > > Podcast (homilies) RSS feed:
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianSermonsOnTheGospelsEpistlesAndOtherTopics
                  > > > Catechetical Talks RSS Podcast:
                  > > > http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianCatecheticalTalks
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • Meg Lark
                  ... [ml] I live with this, since the only parishes within reasonable driving distance are Greek, and am in complete agreement with Fr. Seraphim. Then there s
                  Message 8 of 12 , Feb 3, 2009
                    On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 3:53 PM, Seraphim Holland <seraphim@...> wrote:
                    > This is an interesting read. I do not have the liturgical background to know
                    > how correct its viewpoint is. I offer it for comment.
                    >
                    > http://www.archdiocese.ca/e_resources/pdf/ReadingThePrayers.pdf
                    >
                    > I have a few comments.
                    >
                    > 1. I ain't gonna do nuthin' different without specific direction from my
                    > bishop. I am no hurry to do anything.
                    > 2. I wonder if this will ever be a topic for the Russian Church to consider.
                    >
                    > 3. It always seems me to to be a bit of an oxymoron for followers of the New
                    > Calendar, which has ruined much of the interplay between the Menaion and the
                    > Paschalion, to talk about liturgical order.
                    > 4. I have seen the prayers said by the celebrant rather theatrically - it
                    > left me cold.
                    > 5. I am very uncomfortable with some in the church reading the prayers
                    > aloud/very loud/in a whisper. From church to church, the practice is
                    > different. This seems to me to be innovation, and disorderly. We should not
                    > make things up, even if we are incredible liturgical scholars!
                    > 6. When I hear these prayers exspecially in "You hoo" style, my skin crawls.
                    >
                    > 7. Discomfort in the liturgy because something is really different is REALLY
                    > UNCOMFORTABLE.

                    [ml] I live with this, since the only parishes within reasonable
                    driving distance are Greek, and am in complete agreement with Fr.
                    Seraphim. Then there's the addition of having the people respond with
                    "Amen" during the Anaphora -- when they started this, I nearly jumped
                    out of my skin, it's so reminiscent of the way the deconstruction of
                    Catholic worship began (i.e., with the Involvement of the Laity). No
                    one's saying that the laity shouldn't be engaged, but there are
                    already plenty of places for that to happen -- Great and Small
                    Litanies, anyone?? -- without disrupting the sacredness of the
                    Anaphora.

                    In Christ,
                    Meg Lark
                  • Steve Robinson
                    Hi Meg, I dunno... sacredness and mystery (which are often the two reasons I hear for keeping things behind closed doors, silent and obscured from the eyes,
                    Message 9 of 12 , Feb 3, 2009
                      Hi Meg,
                      I dunno..."sacredness" and "mystery" (which are often the two reasons I hear for keeping things behind closed doors, silent and obscured from the eyes, ears, minds and participation of the laity) seems more to me like clericalism. It looks to me like all of these things have been "innovations" at one time or another, (perhaps at the time they were innovated it was for good reason...I'm NOT a "restore the Didache style liturgy" person), but if they changed at one time in response to some spiritual condition of the Church, perhaps the Holy Spirit can respond to our spiritual condition in a different way than say, 8th century Byzantium or 16th century Russia. Having been a former Catholic too, I find it hard to get over my knee jerk response to things that look like "post Vatican II", but I have to remember I'm not in Rome anymore. :)
                      I'd give you 2 cents, but with the economy the way it is, I can't afford it. :)
                      peace,
                      s-p

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Meg Lark
                      To: ustav@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 8:03 AM
                      Subject: Re: [ustav] Reading prayers of the Liturgy by the celebrant.


                      Then there's the addition of having the people respond with
                      "Amen" during the Anaphora -- when they started this, I nearly jumped out of my skin, it's so reminiscent of the way the deconstruction of Catholic worship began (i.e., with the Involvement of the Laity). No one's saying that the laity shouldn't be engaged, but there are already plenty of places for that to happen -- Great and Small Litanies, anyone?? -- without disrupting the sacredness of the Anaphora.
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                    • Molly Grabowski
                      ... Thanks, Meg! I couldn t figure out which Amen everyone was talking about. I used to debate - you know - for fun, on weekends in college. I realize that
                      Message 10 of 12 , Feb 3, 2009
                        > Then there's the addition of having the people respond with
                        > "Amen" during the Anaphora -- when they started this, I nearly jumped
                        > out of my skin, it's so reminiscent of the way the deconstruction of
                        > Catholic worship began
                        >





                        Thanks, Meg!
                        I couldn't figure out which Amen everyone was talking about.

                        I used to debate - you know - for fun, on weekends in college. I
                        realize that one is not supposed to argue with encyclicals from the
                        synod, but come on - they create a response for the people that isn't
                        even supposed to be there. Then they base the bulk of their supporting
                        arguments on that Amen. Well, that's just weak, and dare I say, sneaky,
                        because the average person doesn't know the liturgy well enough to say -
                        "Hey, wait a minute - that's when "We praise Thee; we bless Thee; We
                        worship Thee; we give thanks unto Thee""

                        They write:
                        The witnesses of the first eight centuries (i.e., of the period of the
                        first extant written Euchologion) testify that the people heard the
                        prayers of the Liturgy. This is indicated for example, either by the
                        evidence of responding with “Amen” to the priest’s prayers (Justin,
                        Dionysius of Alexandria, Jerome), or by the obvious indications that the
                        prayers “were heard” by the people (Dionysius of Alexandria, Canon 19 of
                        Laodicea, Lives of righteous Melania), or the use of the verb “I say”,
                        with respect to the prayers of the Divine Liturgy (Basil the Great,
                        Gregory . . . .

                        **which sounds like a very convincing foundation for the premise they
                        are about to put forth, but they NEVER say at which point in the liturgy
                        these microquotes were written in reference to. Are these the
                        historians referring to the Great Litany? Could be. The Litany of the
                        Catechumens? Could be. But you cannot just throw randa-quotes around
                        without citing exactly WHAT they are referring to. That's really poor
                        scholarship, and it is misleading.

                        Then they go on:
                        Only at the time between the V-VI centuries, does the Nestorian author
                        Narsis write about the reading of the Anaphora prayers “in silence”.
                        This practice was opposed by the Orthodox Church through Justinian’s
                        Novella 137, which affirmed the universal tradition that the prayers of
                        the Liturgy ought to be offered “not in silence, but with a voice
                        audible to the faithful”.

                        ***Look closely at the construction of the 1st sentence. Now, is it
                        possible that the herectic in question (nice touch, by the way) wrote
                        about silent prayers in the Anaphora "Only at a time between the V-VI
                        centuries" because that's when he was alive and able to write? They
                        never say that there are references to the PRACTICE at any other time -
                        just that Narsis wrote about them only at that time . . when he was
                        conveniently alive. How suspicious.

                        They never say that nobody else wrote about silent Anaphora prayers - it
                        seems that they have carefully picked one reference (by a heretic) that
                        makes the current practice seem dangerous and ridden that flea bitten
                        nag all the way back to the barn. And you know what else, the heretics
                        didn't do EVERYTHING wrong -if the heretics fasted, does that mean that
                        fasting is bad? No. If the heretics practiced monogamy, does that make
                        monogamy bad? No.

                        They never say when Justinian's Novella 137 was written - and if there
                        were an EXACT citation regrading the prayers of the Anphora, you would
                        think they would have quoted THAT instead of the general statement they
                        quote that may not even be directed at the prayers of the Anaphora.

                        At any rate, the best quote from the encyclical is this one:
                        "What is correct, from the review of traditions found in Euchologion
                        manuscripts, is that there are obviously just a few prayers which are
                        read secretly,"

                        **Well???? Why wouldn't the prayers of the Anaphora be one of those?

                        I suppose that the bottom line for me is usually that there lots and
                        lots of saints who either said these prayers silently - or were in
                        congregations where these prayers were read silently. I don't think
                        anyone is willing to assert, in the midst of claims that this is issue
                        "touches upon the people’s salvation", that the silent prayers of the
                        Anaphora have created an impediment to salvation.

                        Theodora
                      • stephen_r1937
                        ... Meg, I must assume that you mean Amen at the epiclesis, since there has alwaya been a sung Amen at the Words of Institution. There are already a
                        Message 11 of 12 , Feb 3, 2009
                          --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com, Meg Lark <woolfolk3@...> wrote:

                          > [ml] I live with this, since the only parishes within reasonable
                          > driving distance are Greek, and am in complete agreement with Fr.
                          > Seraphim. Then there's the addition of having the people respond with
                          > "Amen" during the Anaphora -- when they started this, I nearly jumped
                          > out of my skin, it's so reminiscent of the way the deconstruction of
                          > Catholic worship began (i.e., with the Involvement of the Laity).

                          Meg, I must assume that you mean "Amen" at the epiclesis, since there
                          has "alwaya" been a sung "Amen" at the Words of Institution. There are
                          already a number of places where the people (or at least the choir)
                          participate audibly in the Anaphora:

                          1. "A mercy of peace"

                          2. "And with thy spirit."

                          3. "We lift them up"

                          4. It is meet and right"

                          5. "Holy, holy, holy"

                          6. the aforementioned Amnes.

                          7. "We praise thee"

                          8. "It is truly meet"

                          9. "And all men and women"

                          10. "Amen"

                          And that's ending the Anaphora with "And grant that unto us with one
                          mouth"; arguably it should be thought of as including every up through
                          the Lord's Prayer.

                          I don't see any need for more than this, but my parish, which is on
                          the whole pretty traditional, does the Amens at the epiclesis; so I'm
                          used to them by now, but I wouldn't miss them if they disappeared.

                          Stephen

                          > No
                          > one's saying that the laity shouldn't be engaged, but there are
                          > already plenty of places for that to happen -- Great and Small
                          > Litanies, anyone?? -- without disrupting the sacredness of the
                          > Anaphora.
                        • Meg Lark
                          ... [ml] Sorry, of course you re right. I was at work when I responded to this, and got my terminology confused. My main objection to this is the
                          Message 12 of 12 , Feb 3, 2009
                            On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 4:24 PM, stephen_r1937 <stephen_r1937@...> wrote:
                            > --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com, Meg Lark <woolfolk3@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >> [ml] I live with this, since the only parishes within reasonable
                            >> driving distance are Greek, and am in complete agreement with Fr.
                            >> Seraphim. Then there's the addition of having the people respond with
                            >> "Amen" during the Anaphora -- when they started this, I nearly jumped
                            >> out of my skin, it's so reminiscent of the way the deconstruction of
                            >> Catholic worship began (i.e., with the Involvement of the Laity).
                            >
                            > Meg, I must assume that you mean "Amen" at the epiclesis, since there
                            > has "alwaya" been a sung "Amen" at the Words of Institution.

                            [ml] Sorry, of course you're right. I was at work when I responded
                            to this, and got my terminology confused.

                            My main objection to this is the slippery-slope argument that so many
                            love to ridicule; but having seen it once, I'm more than twice
                            gun-shy.

                            Must go, husband is home --

                            In Christ,
                            Meg
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