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Advent Paraclesis

BasilCan

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So, I am looking to see if someone can tell me the history of the Advent Paraclesis. It seems to be only an Antiochian service and one that came from Bishop BASIL of Wichita. I cannot find this service in Greek or Romanian or Arabic. Does anyone have any knowledge of the origin of this service?

ADVENT PARAKLESIS.tif (antiochian.org)
 

augustin717

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Never heard of it. In our parts of Romania though there has been the custom going at least about a century ( probably more) back to serve the regular Paraclis on all Wednesdays of Advent ( also Lent).I didn’t think it’s unique to us, but neither is it universal in the ROC .so it could be a recent composition based on this custom.
 

RaphaCam

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Never heard of it. In our parts of Romania though there has been the custom going at least about a century ( probably more) back to serve the regular Paraclis on all Wednesdays of Advent ( also Lent).I didn’t think it’s unique to us, but neither is it universal in the ROC .so it could be a recent composition based on this custom.
What can you tell about the history of liturgical sourcing in your region?

I've read there were many Levantine boyars in Ottoman Romania (which could mean a common origin of this feast in the Patriarchate of Antioch), and there was also the whole being under the EP (which had a strong hand in the technically autocephalous Ottoman Orthodox). Neither idea would give a good explanation for why a Romanian region and AOCNA would share a specific feast, specially if you're actually from Transylvania or something, but let's see if people can bring up more examples.
 

augustin717

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Maybe I wasn’t clear: we didn’t know of this particular text, but the custom was to do the small Parakleisis on all Wednesday nights of Advent. As to the origin, I’ve wondered whether it could be a GC influence. But I’m not sure.
Anyhow there was some Melkite influence on the Transylvanian GC through the contacts they had in the “Greek” seminaries in Rome. An acquaintance of mine knew the subject quite well. Much better that I do.!Some of these still survive in those areas that were GC before’48.
Our area though was never GC , being actually one of the two compact areas where the union never happened.
 

MalpanaGiwargis

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There is an "Emmanuel Moleben" that is served during the fast (my ACROD parish does it on Wednesday evenings) among Carpatho-Russians, Byzantine Catholics, and Ukrainian Greek Catholics; I don't who else uses it. It's quite different from this service, though (no canon, for example).
 

Dominika

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There is an "Emmanuel Moleben" that is served during the fast (my ACROD parish does it on Wednesday evenings) among Carpatho-Russians, Byzantine Catholics, and Ukrainian Greek Catholics; I don't who else uses it. It's quite different from this service, though (no canon, for example).
I suppose that's it, full text: https://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbt...umber/13/filename/13-Moleben-PreChristmas.pdf


Anyway, in Southern traditions, Paraklesis for the Theotokos is strongly connected with two other fasting periods: Great Lent (its Fridays) andthe Dormition Fast. So, it's not so surprising, that this paraklesis or something similar is served during the Adent (Nativity Fast). In Balamand (Lebanon) I remember every Friday - so including the Advent - we had Paraklesis.
 

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I suppose that's it, full text: https://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbt...umber/13/filename/13-Moleben-PreChristmas.pdf


Anyway, in Southern traditions, Paraklesis for the Theotokos is strongly connected with two other fasting periods: Great Lent (its Fridays) andthe Dormition Fast. So, it's not so surprising, that this paraklesis or something similar is served during the Adent (Nativity Fast). In Balamand (Lebanon) I remember every Friday - so including the Advent - we had Paraklesis.
What do you mean exactly by "Southern traditions"? More or less the same traditions that use Byzantine chant?
 

augustin717

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I suppose that's it, full text: https://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbt...umber/13/filename/13-Moleben-PreChristmas.pdf


Anyway, in Southern traditions, Paraklesis for the Theotokos is strongly connected with two other fasting periods: Great Lent (its Fridays) andthe Dormition Fast. So, it's not so surprising, that this paraklesis or something similar is served during the Adent (Nativity Fast). In Balamand (Lebanon) I remember every Friday - so including the Advent - we had Paraklesis.
In our region itts Paraklesis on Wednesdays, and the akathist of our Lord JC XC on Fridays, beu it seems to be the same phenomenon. If I have enough energy I’ll look through some church press archives see if I can find references for the practice during the 19th century.
 

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I lead it many times with Antiochians, but I don't recall anyone knowing of any history beyond that of Bp Basil, either. There are a lot of oddities about the larger context of the service, though, which makes me think it (and at the very least its usage) is quite a recent innovation (even if it goes back further than Bp Basil, which I can't figure out): it mistakes the Paraklesis during Dormition (and the Akathist during Lent) to be part of some merely fasting season practice (vs part of the *festal* cycles for the Theotokos), it overemphasizes Christmas (not only vs Dormition and Annunciation, but also vs Theophany, the higher-ranked feast), and it is strongly derivative in nature (vs containing unique textual features). Right now, I avoid it.
 

Dominika

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What do you mean exactly by "Southern traditions"? More or less the same traditions that use Byzantine chant?
More or less. Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Antiochian, Greek, Albanian.. And some fo them (e.g Roamian, Serbian) use various types of chants ;)
 

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In rural societies such as most orthodox societies were, Advent was a time of all sorts of get-togethers/bees: while the women did the housework ( looming, spinning etc) the men practiced the ritual carols and other Xmas representations.
On St. Ignatius day they slaughtered the Xmas pig. Then, after Epiphany, came the wedding season. These are mostly obsolete now, but they died no more than two generations ago. People born from the ‘20’s to the 50’s even have experienced some or most of it.
The ritual caroling probably seemed more important and sacred to those peasants than the church services proper. At least where that type of caroling made it to the 20th century.
 

Dominika

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Having a long fast with little to no liturgical services or changes related to such fast makes the fast worse.
+1
That's the reason there are various trials for this fast...

Well, in fact, IF people knew properly the structure fo this fast, slowly appearing God, and if the parishes had daily Vespers plus meetigns about saints (espeically from the OT) that are commemorated during this fast, there would no be need for something extra. But we know the reality...


In rural societies such as most orthodox societies were, Advent was a time of all sorts of get-togethers/bees: while the women did the housework ( looming, spinning etc) the men practiced the ritual carols and other Xmas representations.
On St. Ignatius day they slaughtered the Xmas pig. Then, after Epiphany, came the wedding season. These are mostly obsolete now, but they died no more than two generations ago. People born from the ‘20’s to the 50’s even have experienced some or most of it.
The ritual caroling probably seemed more important and sacred to those peasants than the church services proper. At least where that type of caroling made it to the 20th century.
In Serbian a few days before Christmas there is Tucindan so "the day of beating" i.e. preparation of pig that will be eaten on the feast day. In some regions pigs are still prepared. In Poland we have just small part of pig, "schab" (special home version prepared for Christmas, New Year, Epiphany, Pascha, weddings, baptisms etc.).
As for carolling, in some regions of Poland they still practice it, though it starts in the proper feast season and after church services, when people sit at the festal tables. There are also meetings imitating such carolling and supported a lot by the Church (actually both Orthodox and Catholic). In some parts of Syria I know at the Nativity Night the task of carolers was just to bring people to church (to proclaim the good news so they can go to church to experience it).
 

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In rural societies such as most orthodox societies were, Advent was a time of all sorts of get-togethers/bees: while the women did the housework ( looming, spinning etc) the men practiced the ritual carols and other Xmas representations.
On St. Ignatius day they slaughtered the Xmas pig. Then, after Epiphany, came the wedding season. These are mostly obsolete now, but they died no more than two generations ago. People born from the ‘20’s to the 50’s even have experienced some or most of it.
The ritual caroling probably seemed more important and sacred to those peasants than the church services proper. At least where that type of caroling made it to the 20th century.
I think caroling has died in general. I miss it.
 

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The Dormition is one of the last Great Feasts (depending on how one counts them) to gain a widespread acceptance in any form, with various local fits and starts and customs culminating around 600 AD when Emperor Maurice declared a specific date and theme (based on Jerusalemite custom, AFAICT: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2017/08/history-of-feast-of-dormition-of.html). Many of her hymns that are still used today were composed within the century or two that followed. Even the Paraklesis was composed in the 800s. Yet the aforementioned source notes the Dormition Fast (and not just a generic fall fast) was not set until *centuries* later, all the way past the turn of millennium in the 12th century (Constantinople in 1166: the same council apparently also set the Nativity Fast, at 40 days, another late innovation). So, leaving aside all the various theological arguments, history is enough to show that there cannot be an original connection between the special veneration of the Theotokos and the fasting (for there was no fast!), but rather with the feasting.
 

Dominika

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history is enough to show that there cannot be an original connection between the special veneration of the Theotokos and the fasting (for there was no fast!), but rather with the feasting.
Liturgics have been developing all the time, it's not something dead. It's quite natural though even before that a feast is followed by a fasting (of course, its type and length varied a lot) and fasting is a way for improving relation with God, people around us, so also with saints, including the Theotokos. It is not something contradictory, rather two sides of the same medal.

Moreveor, there have been always pilgrimages and they are often connected with a kind of fasting, together with other ascetical practices. And many pilgrimages are for the feasts and/or places realted to the Theotokos.
 
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