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Holy Wed. Unction

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  • Macrina
    I have gotten curious this year about why and how this service developed as part of Holy Wednesday, and how widespread the practice of doing it is. I would
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 29, 2010
      I have gotten curious this year about why and how this service developed as part of Holy Wednesday, and how widespread the practice of doing it is. I would love to hear some history and also about local practices for this service.

      It has gotten me thinking because although Ware mentions it in one of his essays, there are no instructions for doing it in the Triodion. Also, the OCA rubrics do not contain anything about it. A few years ago one of the bishops came out with a statement on this service saying (unlike Ware) that it should NOT be done as a mass anointing of all the faithful for the spiritual sickness we all share, but is to be reserved for only those gravely ill, such as with cancer. It seems to me the former (everyone receiving anointing) is more common. Is that true? Then the final issue is that it is a very long service. Do people usually abbreviate it? If so, how?

      A blessed Holy Week to all,
      Macrina Lewis
      anaphorapress.com
    • vaseili doukas
      The common suposition is that Holy Unction entered Holy Week for the sake of all those Greeks who do not normally go to confession.  Now they can at least
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 29, 2010
        The common suposition is that Holy Unction entered Holy Week for the sake of all those Greeks who do not normally go to confession.  Now they can at least have a once a year absolution.  This idea is visually and physically enforced with the priest(s) holding an open Gospel Book stretched out as it were over the heads of the congregation, which is kneeling, while the prayer of absolution is intoned.
         
        In general the service is not shortened except maybe the 5th prayer is omitted.
         
        However, some Greek churches have gone back to the Bridgegroom Service of Holy Wednesday with an annointing following the conclusion of the service.
         
        I have heard of one instance when BOTH services were combined: the congregation was dismissed at about midnight.
         
        vaseili doukas

        --- On Mon, 3/29/10, Macrina <macrina440@...> wrote:


        From: Macrina <macrina440@...>
        Subject: [ustav] Holy Wed. Unction
        To: ustav@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Monday, March 29, 2010, 10:13 AM


         



        I have gotten curious this year about why and how this service developed as part of Holy Wednesday, and how widespread the practice of doing it is. I would love to hear some history and also about local practices for this service.

        It has gotten me thinking because although Ware mentions it in one of his essays, there are no instructions for doing it in the Triodion. Also, the OCA rubrics do not contain anything about it. A few years ago one of the bishops came out with a statement on this service saying (unlike Ware) that it should NOT be done as a mass anointing of all the faithful for the spiritual sickness we all share, but is to be reserved for only those gravely ill, such as with cancer. It seems to me the former (everyone receiving anointing) is more common. Is that true? Then the final issue is that it is a very long service. Do people usually abbreviate it? If so, how?

        A blessed Holy Week to all,
        Macrina Lewis
        anaphorapress. com











        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Rd. Ioanni Fortoma
        When I was serving in the Greek Church we never got dismissed at midnight. We began with Small Compline (20 minutes) then served Holy Unction (1 hr and 1/2),
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 29, 2010
          When I was serving in the Greek Church we never got dismissed at midnight. We began with Small Compline (20 minutes) then served Holy Unction (1 hr and 1/2), then did Matins (1 hour and 1/2). From what I remember we began at 6:00 pm and ended at 9:30 pm. The priest would continue to annoint people through Matins. I have a Athonite Typicon that explains that the Holy Unction is served in the morning before three Vesperal Liturgies in the year: on Holy Thursday morning, on Christmas eve in the morning, and on Theophany eve in the morning. Specifically it says: Holy Thursday morning: Holy Unction, Hours, Vesperal Liturgy. Christmas and Theophany eve: Holy Unction, Royal Hours, Vesperal Liturgy. Now, doing that would in practice take a very long time, hence why it is done the night before, before Matins. The reason is probably to give people absolution so they can Commune on those days. Before the annointing most priests make a point in announcing that the
          annointing itself does not substitute for Holy Confession.
           
          Rd. Ioannis


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        • Carol Surgant
          ...   ...   cas: One of the Greek churches is St. Louis is having the Holy Unction Service at 4pm on Wednesday.  Then they are serving Matins (Orthros) for
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 30, 2010
            --- On Tue, 3/30/10, Rd. Ioanni Fortoma <reader_ioanni@...> wrote:






             









            > When I was serving in the Greek Church we never got dismissed at midnight. We began with Small Compline (20 minutes) then served Holy Unction (1 hr and 1/2), then did Matins (1 hour and 1/2). From what I remember we began at 6:00 pm and ended at 9:30 pm. The priest would continue to annoint people through Matins.



             
            cas: One of the Greek churches is St. Louis is having the Holy Unction Service at 4pm on Wednesday.  Then they are serving Matins (Orthros) for Holy Thursday at 7pm with another anointing at the end for those people who were not able to attend the earlier service.  This seems to be a good compromise and does not cause the Matins of Holy Thursday to be omitted as I have seen in some Greek Churches.
            There seems to be a connection with serving Holy Unction on Great and Holy Wednesday, and the Gospel reading of the woman who anointed Christ with myrrh oil.
            Carol Surgant



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Billo, John
            We have the Holy Unction service Wednesday night at 6 pm. Matins for Holy Thursday will be served at 7 am Thursday, followed by Divine Liturgy. In Christ,
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 31, 2010
              We have the Holy Unction service Wednesday night at 6 pm. Matins for Holy Thursday will be served at 7 am Thursday, followed by Divine Liturgy.

              In Christ,
              Rdr. John Billo
              Nashville GOA

              ________________________________
              From: ustav@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ustav@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carol Surgant
              Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 11:34 PM
              To: ustav@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [ustav] Holy Wed. Unction



              --- On Tue, 3/30/10, Rd. Ioanni Fortoma <reader_ioanni@...<mailto:reader_ioanni%40yahoo.ca>> wrote:



              > When I was serving in the Greek Church we never got dismissed at midnight. We began with Small Compline (20 minutes) then served Holy Unction (1 hr and 1/2), then did Matins (1 hour and 1/2). From what I remember we began at 6:00 pm and ended at 9:30 pm. The priest would continue to annoint people through Matins.


              cas: One of the Greek churches is St. Louis is having the Holy Unction Service at 4pm on Wednesday. Then they are serving Matins (Orthros) for Holy Thursday at 7pm with another anointing at the end for those people who were not able to attend the earlier service. This seems to be a good compromise and does not cause the Matins of Holy Thursday to be omitted as I have seen in some Greek Churches.
              There seems to be a connection with serving Holy Unction on Great and Holy Wednesday, and the Gospel reading of the woman who anointed Christ with myrrh oil.
              Carol Surgant


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




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            • Rd. Ioanni Fortoma
              ...   We have the Holy Unction service Wednesday night at 6 pm. Matins for Holy Thursday will be served at 7 am Thursday, followed by Divine Liturgy. They
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 1 8:46 AM
                --- On Wed, 3/31/10, Billo, John <johnbillo@...> wrote:



                 



                We have the Holy Unction service Wednesday night at 6 pm. Matins for Holy Thursday will be served at 7 am Thursday, followed by Divine Liturgy.


                They also do it like that at the Patriarchate in Constantinople.
                 
                Rd. Ioannis


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              • Jopi Harri
                ... Matins followed directly by vespers? Why not? (For those observing the Sabbaite Typicon, hardly. By the way, are the matins at 7 am well-attended?) - Jopi
                Message 7 of 7 , Apr 1 11:42 AM
                  On 1.4.2010 18:46, Rd. Ioanni Fortoma wrote:
                  > --- On Wed, 3/31/10, Billo, John <johnbillo@...>
                  > wrote:
                  > We have the Holy Unction service Wednesday night at 6 pm.
                  > Matins for Holy Thursday will be served at 7 am Thursday,
                  > followed by Divine Liturgy.
                  >
                  > They also do it like that at the Patriarchate in
                  > Constantinople.

                  Matins followed directly by vespers?

                  Why not?

                  (For those observing the Sabbaite Typicon, hardly. By the way,
                  are the matins at 7 am well-attended?)

                  - Jopi Harri
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