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[ustav] Re: Parades/outdoor processions

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  • Fr. John Morris
    ... In Antiochian tradition, we have outdoor processions at the end of the Divine Liturgy on Palm Sunday and during the Apostika of the Agape Vespers. We also
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 31, 1998
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      kudut@... wrote:

      > Fathers, Bless!
      > Are there services which call for a parade or outdoor procession?

      In Antiochian tradition, we have outdoor processions at the end of the
      Divine Liturgy on Palm Sunday and during the Apostika of the Agape Vespers.
      We also frequently have a procession with the bier during the Holy God... at
      the end of the Great Doxology on Great and Holy Friday.

      Archpriest John W. Morris

      > [for example, either around the parish, or better still, down
      > the main street of the town of the parish/monastery]?
      > If so, which services are these, and when?
      > [the only one I can think of is the restoration of the icons]
      > -Kenneth
      > --
      > Each day, it seems I begin again to be made pure, to see.
      > In a fathomless abyss, in a measureless heaven,
      > who can find a middle or an end?
      > [kudut@...] St Symeon the New Theologian
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    • Serge Keleher
      Yes, Astoria is big on processions. The biggest and most spectacular processions of my experience have been in L viv on Holy Theophany and in Athens on Good
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 1, 1999
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        Yes, Astoria is big on processions. The biggest and most
        spectacular processions of my experience have been in L'viv on Holy
        Theophany and in Athens on Good Friday. Descriptions:
        1) Holy Theophany in L'viv. From time immemorial, excluding the
        recent unpleasantness (aka the Soviet period) it has been the custom on
        Theophany to hold the Great Blessing of Waters in the large square around
        City Hall. The square has four big fountains, one at each corner, so to
        There is Divine Liturgy in every church on the morning of
        Theophany, naturally. The last time I was there for this feast, the
        Greek-Catholic Metropolitan Volodymyr served in Transfiguration Church,
        which is the nearest to the square; one of the younger auxiliary bishops
        served in Saint George's Cathedral and another bishop served in the large
        church at the Studite Monastery; elsewhere the priests served. At the end
        of the Divine Liturgy in each church the hierarch if there is one, the
        clergy, the choirs and the faithful (with banners and so on ) make a
        procession to the square around City Hall (the pastors, of course, know how
        long the procession will take to walk from their particular church to City
        Hall, and therefore they know at what time to begin the Divine Liturgy).
        The Metropolitan and his procession from Transfiguration Church are the
        last to arrive. Large platforms are erected for the occasion at each of the
        four fountains.
        Since at the time of writing the ecumenical situation in L'viv is a
        bit tense, each of the four fountains is allocated to a different
        ecclesiastical judicatory (which could lead to an amusing analysis, since
        each fountain has a symbol, and none of those symbols have anything to do
        with Christianity, but never mind): one, of course, for the
        Greek-Catholics, one for the Moscow Patriarchate, one for the "Kiev
        Patriarchate", and one for the "Ukrainian Autocephalous Church". Despite
        the generally strained relations amongst these groups, the order of the
        Great Blessing is agreed and calm: nobody starts until the Greek-Catholic
        Metropolitan is ready. Each contingent holds the service simultaneously,
        without abbreviations. The square is jammed with faithful, beyond capacity;
        people are in all the windows of the shops and apartments around the
        square, and in the streets leading into the square, and besides the
        fountains there are great vats of water, crosses carved from ice, and so
        forth. The singing is stupendous.
        When the Precious Cross is immersed in the water, the Hutsuls blow
        a loud blast on their trembyty, whereupon the crowd sings the Apolytkion.
        The blessing of the crowds with the Holy Water is joyful chaos, with
        priests (each accompanied by husky acolytes carrying large containers of
        Holy Water) moving in all directions and the people surging forward to fill
        their own containers and to drink some of the Holy Water. The processions
        then go into reverse, so to speak, and return to the churches from which
        they came, with the clergy blessing constantly along the streets.
        Practical Note: L'viv has an atrocious climate, and it's bitter
        cold in late January. Clergy taking part in this service normally see to it
        that they are very warmly dressed, and then put on heavy, warm vestments as
        well. An inconspicuous black fur hat under a klobuk is quite helpful. Those
        who would like to have such processions in other northern districts might
        keep this in mind.

        2) Good Friday night in Athens. As anyone who has ever attended a
        Greek church on Good Friday night anywhere knows, in Greek usage the
        Funeral of Christ has become quite festive; here I describe only the
        processions. The police, of course, know very well what is going to happen
        and where and at what time, so they know when to block the secular traffic
        and where they will need to direct processions that criss-cross. There is
        no central rendezvous; each procession leaves its church, processes around
        a number of streets (presumably determined by the clergy in consultation
        with the police), and returns to its own church. The crowds are enormous,
        beyond counting; for most churches in Athens this is by far the
        best-attended service of the year.
        According to the Ustav, the procession should chant the Trisagion.
        It starts out that way, but very soon the music will switch to parts of the
        Lamentations, or parts of the Canon, which most of the people know by heart
        and will sing with enthusiasm. It is the custom in Athens that people leave
        the electric lights on in their homes on this particular evening, so that
        the processional routes are lit all along the streets; those who care to do
        so will rush back to their apartments, open the windows, and throw perfume
        and flowers on the Epitaphios as the processions pass.
        Several times (usually four times) the procession stops,and the
        clergy chant a short ectene (the kind that the Slavs might use at a
        Moleben); otherwise the procession is continuous.
        As I mentioned, in the city center where there are a great many
        churches the processions criss-cross (I've seen on the TV news the next day
        views taken by video-camera from the hill-top overlooking the city center;
        it's amazing to see the patterns of light - since everyone has a candle -
        crossing each other). In the district around Holy Trinity Church on
        Akharnon the procession from Holy Trinity and the procession from Saint
        Nicholas pass each other in the streets and children from each procession
        enjoy throwing flowers at the Epitaphion in the other procession.

        N.B. for those who are wondering why the crowds attending services
        in Athens are larger on Good Friday than on Pascha, it's quite simple: on
        Holy Saturday the population of Athens drops as though somebody had pulled
        the plug; everyone tries to go home to his village. By midnight Athens
        resembles a ghost town.

        Apart from these, I've often enough been involved in processions in
        Western Ukraine for patronal feast days, especially in villages. These
        processions don't require much by way of description. In such villages
        there is invariably a funeral procession as well, from the church to the
        cemetery, regardless of the distance.

        (Archimandrite) Serge

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