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 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph 5:15-16)  The Church attempts.

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Presentation on theme: " “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph 5:15-16)  The Church attempts."— Presentation transcript:


2  “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph 5:15-16)  The Church attempts to give purpose or meaning to every aspect of human existence  Chronos vs Kairos  What I Intend to Cover Tonight (both the what and the why): ◦ Basic structure of the daily cycle ◦ Details of each service within the daily cycle  Vespers, Compline, Midnight Office, Matins, 1 st, 3 rd, and 6 th Hours, Liturgy, 9 th Hour

3  “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen 1:3-5) ◦ God defines “a day” ◦ Evening begins the day, followed by morning ◦ Jews followed this custom (e.g., Sabbath begins at sunset Friday evening) ◦ Christians note significance in light ending the day  “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” (Is 9:2; Mt 4:16)

4  Liturgical cycle of the church begins in the evening  At Vespers we begin the hymns for what, in modern times, is the next calendar day ◦ e.g., Saturday evening hymns for the Resurrection  The daily cycle and commemorations continue through all the services, including the 9 th Hour, and then “reset” again at Vespers

5  hespera (Greek) or vesper (Latin) simply means “evening”  Service offered at the setting of the sun ◦ Note: in ancient monastic tradition the time of the service is movable based upon the setting of the sun (i.e. seasonal changes)  Inaugurates the beginning of a new day ◦ Saint celebrated at Vespers would be on the next calendar day of our civil calendar  Historical connection to the ceremonial lighting of the seven lamps in the Old Testament ◦ Hence the seven prayers of the priest during Ps 103  May serve Great Vespers or Daily Vespers

6  Structure of the service follows the biblical narrative (creation - fall - redemption) ◦ Psalm 104 (“creation Psalm”/3 rd account of creation) ◦ Psalm 141 (fallen humanity crying to the Lord), followed by Pss 142, 130, and 117 ◦ Hymns of the Resurrection on Saturday evening  Hymns of saints combined with them on Saturday  Hymns of daily commemoration/saints on other days  “O Gladsome Light” ◦ St Basil the Great (d. 379) called this “an ancient hymn of the Church”  Old Testament Readings ◦ Used to be at the Divine Liturgy, but moved here

7  Prayer at the Bowing of Heads ◦ Protection for the approaching night/from evil imaginations ◦ “…the fearful Judge, who yet loves mankind…”  St Simeon’s Prayer ◦ Luke 2:29-32  Tonsuring of Readers or Taper-Bearers  Dismissal Hymn(s) ◦ Primary hymn(s) of the day

8  apodipnon (Greek: “after dinner”) or completorium (Latin: prayers at completion of the day)  Word first used (to our knowledge) in St Benedict’s Rule  May be served as Great or Little Compline ◦ Services are quite different, but each focus on asking forgiveness for sins committed during the day, for peaceful/undisturbed sleep, and spiritual peace

9  Little Compline structure ◦ Most days of the year Little Compline is served ◦ Psalms 51, 70, 143 ◦ The Little Doxology (“Glory to God in the highest”) ◦ The Nicene Creed ◦ Troparia (varies by tradition) ◦ Prayer of the Hours (“O Thou Who at all times…”) ◦ Prayers to the Mother of God and Christ for rest and protection ◦ Prayer to Guardian Angel (in some traditions) ◦ If served with a priest, a litany of intercessory prayers

10  Great Compline structure ◦ Primarily served during Great Lent  In parish tradition, primarily on Mondays  May be served during other fasting seasons ◦ Psalms 4, 6, 13, 25, 31, 91 (the funeral Psalm) ◦ “God is with us” (selections from Isaiah) by choir ◦ Antiphonal intercessory prayers by choir ◦ Various troparia ◦ Prayer of St Basil before bed ◦ Psalms 51 and 102 ◦ Prayer of Manasseh, King of Judah ◦ Psalms 70 and 143 ◦ Little Doxology

11  Great Compline structure ◦ “O Lord of hosts” (w/selections from Psalms) by choir ◦ Essentially conclude with the ending of Little Compline  Prayers to the Mother of God and Christ for rest and protection

12  Essentially part of the Hours services ◦ Inspired by Ps 119:62: “At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You…” ◦ Also inspired by Mt 25’s parable of the wise and foolish virgins  Sometimes prayed as a separate, midnight service, but more often combined with Matins in modern-day monastic practice  Four different structures to the service; one each for weekdays, Saturday, Sunday, and Great and Holy Saturday

13  Weekdays ◦ Reading of Psalm 119, the longest in the Bible ◦ Hymn: “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh at midnight…” (used at Bridegroom Matins during Holy Week as well)  Saturday ◦ Psalms 65-70 replace Psalm 119, which is read at Matins instead  Sunday ◦ Pslam 119 is replaced by a Canon to the Trinity ◦ Service is shortened (or even omitted in Russian practice)

14  Great and Holy Saturday ◦ Usually the only time parishes serve Midnight Office ◦ Last service of the Lenten Triodion (service book for Great Lent and Holy Week) ◦ After Ps 51, chanting of the Canon of Great and Holy Saturday (“the harrowing of Hades”) ◦ After the dismissal, all lights in the church are extinguished until the Paschal candle is brought out

15  orthros (Greek: “early dawn/daybreak”) or matutinum (Latin: “of the morning”)  Service offered at the rising of the sun ◦ Note: in ancient monastic tradition the time of the service is movable based upon the rising of the sun (i.e. seasonal changes) ◦ Sunrise coincides with the Doxology: “Glory to Thee who has shone us the light…”  May serve Daily or Festal Matins  In Russian tradition, Festal Matins is served as part of the Vigil service on Saturday evening instead of being served on Sunday morning

16  We will look closely at the structure of Festal/Sunday Matins  Psalms 19 & 20 (the “Royal Psalms”) ◦ Usually omitted, with only the “Royal Troparia” ◦ Apolytikion, Kontakion, & Theotokion of the Cross  “Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial…”  Six Psalms (Pss. 3, 38, 63, 88, 103, 143) ◦ These recall the Final Judgment ◦ During the Psalms the priest reads 12 prayers  “God is the Lord…” and daily troparia ◦ Portions of Ps 118

17  Kathisma (readings from the Psalter) ◦ In Greek, literally means “seat”; so named because sitting allowed during these readings  On Sundays: Evlogetaria ◦ “Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes…” ◦ Selections from Ps 119  Hypakoe, Anavathmoi, Prokeimenon ◦ Preparation for the Gospel ◦ “Hearken,” “Hymns of Ascent,” “that which precedes”  Matins Gospel ◦ Sundays: Eothinon (pertaining to the dawn; 11 resurrection stories) ◦ Feasts: the reading pertains to the feast itself

18  Psalm 51 (preceded by “In that we have beheld the Resurrection…” on Sundays)  Great Intercessory Prayer (“O God save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance…”)  The seasonal Canon  The Magnificat of Luke 1:46-55 (or seasonal replacement)  The exapostilaria (“being sent out”) of the Gospel or feast  The Praises (Pss. 148-150) w/hymns & doxastikon (“Glory hymn”)  The Great or Small Doxology

19  Special Forms of Matins ◦ Lenten: penitential hymns; Alleluia replaces “God is the Lord”; biblical canon/odes; prayer of St Ephraim ◦ Great and Holy Friday: Twelve Passion Gospels ◦ Great and Holy Saturday: Lamentations ◦ Paschal: unique to Pascha and Bright Week; all penitential aspects replaced with hymns of the Resurrection

20  Correspond to the Jewish hours of prayer ◦ Acts 3:1: “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.” ◦ Acts 10:9: “Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.”  Basically the same structure at each service ◦ Three Psalms open the service (5, 90, 101; 17, 25, 51; 54, 55, 91; 84, 85, 86) ◦ Troparia/Theotokia/Kontakia of the day ◦ The “Prayer of the Hours”: “O Thou who at all times” ◦ Final prayer of the Hour  1 st : Christ as the “True Light”; 3 rd : Christ as Teacher  6 th : Suffering of Christ; 9 th : Christ Hanging on the Tree

21  Four primary liturgies in use today ◦ St John Chrysostom: most Sundays/feasts/weekday ◦ St Basil the Great: Sundays of Lent/some feasts ◦ St Gregory the Great/Pre-Sanctified ◦ St James the Brother of God: October 23 in some places  Opening Blessing  Dialogue between clergy/people addressed to God ◦ Great Litany ◦ Many of the deacons’ parts are calls to worship to which the people respond

22  Antiphons ◦ So named because of antiphonal singing ◦ Addition to the ancient liturgy proper ◦ Russian tradition: taken from Typika ◦ Greek tradition: taken from other services ◦ Both have 2 nd conclude with hymn from the 6 th century ascribed to Emperor Justinian  Little Entrance ◦ Origination ◦ Significance today ◦ “O come let us worship…”

23  Troparia/Kontakia  Trisagion/Anti-Trisagion ◦ “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal” ◦ “As many as have been baptized…” (Gal 3:27) ◦ “Before Thy Cross we bow down in worship…”  Scripture Readings ◦ Epistle ◦ Gospel ◦ Sermon  Cherubic Hymn ◦ “We who mystically represent the cherubim…” ◦ Holy Saturday: “Let all mortal flesh keep silence…”

24  Great Entrance ◦ Origination ◦ Significance today  Nicene Creed  Anaphora ◦ See presentation from 1/7/2015  Lord’s Prayer & Bowing of Heads  “Holy Things are for the Holy” ◦ Important response  Communion Hymns/Prayers/Reception  Thanksgiving & Dismissal

25  The services are literally filled with Scripture ◦ Many Psalms ◦ Several extended passages from both OT and NT ◦ Specific, designated readings for day/season  With all of these services, Orthodoxy attempts to penetrate every aspect of our being ◦ Every time/season/hour is given a spiritual consideration ◦ We hope to add meaning and significance to our day/week/month/year

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