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Hierarchical Liturgy

vamrat

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Does anyone have any experience of serving in the altar with a Bishop?  Or any sources, tips, etc?  I will be doing this for the first time on Sunday (and the preceding Vespers on Saturday night) and am a bit nervous!

I will be getting a crash course on Thursday, but would like to know something beforehand.
 

genesisone

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I don't serve in the altar, but Sunday a week ago we had our first hierarchical liturgy. We're a small, new parish. It was the first time our altar servers had served in that capacity, and the first time for us chanters in our capacity as well. Everything proceeded smoothly. Our bishop was quite laid back and encouraging, giving quiet hints and cues as we went through the service. We look forward to the next time, and hope that we won't be quite as much on edge  :).

If you're working with experienced altar servers, you likely have little to worry about, except worry itself.
 

vamrat

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genesisone said:
I don't serve in the altar, but Sunday a week ago we had our first hierarchical liturgy. We're a small, new parish. It was the first time our altar servers had served in that capacity, and the first time for us chanters in our capacity as well. Everything proceeded smoothly. Our bishop was quite laid back and encouraging, giving quiet hints and cues as we went through the service. We look forward to the next time, and hope that we won't be quite as much on edge  :).

If you're working with experienced altar servers, you likely have little to worry about, except worry itself.
My pa should be there, otherwise, I would be the experienced altar server!!!

The Bishop will have his deacon with him. In addition there will be my priest and a visiting priest.  So is going to be a bit of a full house.  And then probably a half dozen younger altar servers.
 

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You might have to cense him. What are your ordinary duties? All my altar boy experience is at hierarchical liturgies (my good fortune at attending a cathedral parish for my first few years as Orthodox).
 

vamrat

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Jonathan Gress said:
You might have to cense him. What are your ordinary duties? All my altar boy experience is at hierarchical liturgies (my good fortune at attending a cathedral parish for my first few years as Orthodox).
Just the usual liturgy duties - retrieve the censor, make sure the water gets hot, sometimes carry the Cross, read the Epistle, etc.

I think there is a vesting procedure with a Bishop, hand washing, and so on. 
 

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So i'll pray for you. I hope you wont get nervous  ;D otherwise call 911  :D :police:
 

Jonathan Gress

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vamrat said:
Jonathan Gress said:
You might have to cense him. What are your ordinary duties? All my altar boy experience is at hierarchical liturgies (my good fortune at attending a cathedral parish for my first few years as Orthodox).
Just the usual liturgy duties - retrieve the censor, make sure the water gets hot, sometimes carry the Cross, read the Epistle, etc.

I think there is a vesting procedure with a Bishop, hand washing, and so on.
Ah yes there's that. Nothing you can't handle I'm sure. :)
 

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primuspilus said:
Ive always wanted to see one. When Bishop THomas comes, he tries to participate as much as he can (Bishop John does great). However, a dyed-in-the-wool Hierarchical Liturgy, I've never seen....except when I was a missionary in Russia, and that was to convert those "idol worshipers".

PP
And you ended up getting converted yourself!  I love it!  8)
 

Iconodule

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primuspilus said:
Ive always wanted to see one. When Bishop THomas comes, he tries to participate as much as he can (Bishop John does great). However, a dyed-in-the-wool Hierarchical Liturgy, I've never seen....except when I was a missionary in Russia, and that was to convert those "idol worshipers".

PP
Do your Antiochian bishops ever don Western vestments?
 

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I have had to multiple times and there's only a few differences unless they ask you to help hold the 2 sets of (2 and 3) candles.  The clergy handle most of the responsibilities.  I've always had to go out and wash his hands before the Anaphora.  As others have said, the Bishop gets censed and its 3 swings.  I will give you a piece of advice though, when you enter the sanctuary you reverence him first before the altar.  I did not know this the first time I served at a Hierarchical Liturgy.

This is Antiochian practice, so it may differ to some degree elsewhere.
 

podkarpatska

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It does depend on the bishop...Some are harsh taskmasters, others are laid back. We are blessed with a more laid back bishop, but I've seen the other type turn experienced clergy and deacons into mush with a stare. So good luck.
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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vamrat said:
Does anyone have any experience of serving in the altar with a Bishop?  Or any sources, tips, etc?  I will be doing this for the first time on Sunday (and the preceding Vespers on Saturday night) and am a bit nervous!

I will be getting a crash course on Thursday, but would like to know something beforehand.
Well, I am no clergyman, but I know what I saw... The Deacon does most of the chanting, the priest is usually not very active in this liturgy, the Bishop serves the liturgy.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
vamrat said:
Does anyone have any experience of serving in the altar with a Bishop?  Or any sources, tips, etc?  I will be doing this for the first time on Sunday (and the preceding Vespers on Saturday night) and am a bit nervous!

I will be getting a crash course on Thursday, but would like to know something beforehand.
Well, I am no clergyman, but I know what I saw... The Deacon does most of the chanting, the priest is usually not very active in this liturgy, the Bishop serves the liturgy.

From what I have read, this is how services are supposed to go - the deacon do much of the litanies.  But here in the US, there usually isn't a deacon, so the priest does all the litanies and other such things.  We should have a reader on Sunday, if not, that will be me.  Thanks to Echa for her prayers.  I will have a better idea of what to expect on Thursday, I guess!
 

vamrat

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Hamartolos said:
I have had to multiple times and there's only a few differences unless they ask you to help hold the 2 sets of (2 and 3) candles.  The clergy handle most of the responsibilities.  I've always had to go out and wash his hands before the Anaphora.  As others have said, the Bishop gets censed and its 3 swings.  I will give you a piece of advice though, when you enter the sanctuary you reverence him first before the altar.  I did not know this the first time I served at a Hierarchical Liturgy.

This is Antiochian practice, so it may differ to some degree elsewhere.
I am Serbian Orthodox.  But I figure your piece of advice might serve me well regardless!  Can't hurt...

I will probably have to do the hand washing and censing, that much I know.  The candle holder...I'm not sure if that will be me or one of the boys yet.
 

vamrat

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Mor Ephrem said:
What censing will you have to do?
Censing the Bishop?  My priest mentioned it on Sunday.  But it was a quick, rushed conversation.  This is all short notice.
 

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vamrat said:
Mor Ephrem said:
What censing will you have to do?
Censing the Bishop?  My priest mentioned it on Sunday.  But it was a quick, rushed conversation.  This is all short notice.
Interesting.  I've never seen anyone who is not a deacon censing at any (EO) Liturgy, except perhaps when carrying the censer during the Great Entrance.  Even then, I recall being taught that the non-deacon doing so is to carry it, not swing it.  Oh well, if you're doing something wrong, you'll figure it out soon enough.  ;) 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
vamrat said:
Mor Ephrem said:
What censing will you have to do?
Censing the Bishop?  My priest mentioned it on Sunday.  But it was a quick, rushed conversation.  This is all short notice.
Interesting.  I've never seen anyone who is not a deacon censing at any (EO) Liturgy, except perhaps when carrying the censer during the Great Entrance.  Even then, I recall being taught that the non-deacon doing so is to carry it, not swing it.  Oh well, if you're doing something wrong, you'll figure it out soon enough.  ;)
Yep, that's what my son was taught at seminary and what I've observed over the years as well. He used to lead a reader's service at a small parish near Johnstown while in Seminary and I recall him answering a question from a parishioner regarding as to who can cense.
 

vamrat

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podkarpatska said:
Mor Ephrem said:
vamrat said:
Mor Ephrem said:
What censing will you have to do?
Censing the Bishop?  My priest mentioned it on Sunday.  But it was a quick, rushed conversation.  This is all short notice.
Interesting.  I've never seen anyone who is not a deacon censing at any (EO) Liturgy, except perhaps when carrying the censer during the Great Entrance.  Even then, I recall being taught that the non-deacon doing so is to carry it, not swing it.  Oh well, if you're doing something wrong, you'll figure it out soon enough.  ;)
Yep, that's what my son was taught at seminary and what I've observed over the years as well. He used to lead a reader's service at a small parish near Johnstown while in Seminary and I recall him answering a question from a parishioner regarding as to who can cense.
Hmmm.  In the Presanctified Liturgies I cense the Gifts during the Entrance while walking backwards.  I have never been corrected on it.

Yeah, I guess I will find out soon enough!
 

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I've only ever seen deacon and above cense. You said the bishop is bringing his deacon, is he also bringing subdeacons? If not you will probably be involved in helping the bishop vest, and adjusting his vestments whenever he sits. Also managing the episcopal hopscotch circles eagle rugs.
 

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Here bishops usually bring subdeacons, deacon and one or two servers alogside them to take over all bishop-related stuff. Host servers may feel kicked out of the altar a bit.

And no matter how hard you try you will probably fail at something.
 

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mike said:
Here bishops usually bring subdeacons, deacon and one or two servers alogside them to take over all bishop-related stuff. Host servers may feel kicked out of the altar a bit.

And no matter how hard you try you will probably fail at something.
This has been true all of my life, the bishop usually would bring an entourage. Seminarians looking for a weekend trip or wanting to see a possible girlfriend were often the drivers and suitcase carriers... But our current bishop is very humble, drives his old car himself, makes the seminarians stay and study and and is the antithesis of pomposity and arrogance....It is refreshing and I like it.
 

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podkarpatska said:
mike said:
Here bishops usually bring subdeacons, deacon and one or two servers alogside them to take over all bishop-related stuff. Host servers may feel kicked out of the altar a bit.

And no matter how hard you try you will probably fail at something.
This has been true all of my life, the bishop usually would bring an entourage. Seminarians looking for a weekend trip or wanting to see a possible girlfriend were often the drivers and suitcase carriers... But our current bishop is very humble, drives his old car himself, makes the seminarians stay and study and and is the antithesis of pomposity and arrogance....It is refreshing and I like it.
Does he only want celibate clergy or something?  ;)
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
podkarpatska said:
mike said:
Here bishops usually bring subdeacons, deacon and one or two servers alogside them to take over all bishop-related stuff. Host servers may feel kicked out of the altar a bit.

And no matter how hard you try you will probably fail at something.
This has been true all of my life, the bishop usually would bring an entourage. Seminarians looking for a weekend trip or wanting to see a possible girlfriend were often the drivers and suitcase carriers... But our current bishop is very humble, drives his old car himself, makes the seminarians stay and study and and is the antithesis of pomposity and arrogance....It is refreshing and I like it.
Does he only want celibate clergy or something?  ;)
Nah, he makes them all work the summer at Camp...plenty of college girls working there to meet!  ;)
 

vamrat

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Ok, so I think everything will be fine...uh...tell me more about this camp, though
 

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podkarpatska said:
Mor Ephrem said:
podkarpatska said:
mike said:
Here bishops usually bring subdeacons, deacon and one or two servers alogside them to take over all bishop-related stuff. Host servers may feel kicked out of the altar a bit.

And no matter how hard you try you will probably fail at something.
This has been true all of my life, the bishop usually would bring an entourage. Seminarians looking for a weekend trip or wanting to see a possible girlfriend were often the drivers and suitcase carriers... But our current bishop is very humble, drives his old car himself, makes the seminarians stay and study and and is the antithesis of pomposity and arrogance....It is refreshing and I like it.
Does he only want celibate clergy or something?  ;)
Nah, he makes them all work the summer at Camp...plenty of college girls working there to meet!  ;)
We have one labour camp that is know as the one you go you are desperately in need. Been helping three girls from there for a day; not sure if I should post that, though.
 

podkarpatska

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I'm referring to ACROD's Camp Nazareth in western PA. http://www.campnazareth.org/  ACROD runs four weeks of camp, the
Greek Metropolis of Pittsburgh runs four weeks and other Diocesan activities and a few outside rentals take place between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The maintenance staff reports next week and camp staff during early July...The staff are all college and graduate school age...the Greeks bring in their own staff for five weeks and there is a lot of interaction between the two groups and many friendships are made.
 

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Iconodule said:
primuspilus said:
Ive always wanted to see one. When Bishop THomas comes, he tries to participate as much as he can (Bishop John does great). However, a dyed-in-the-wool Hierarchical Liturgy, I've never seen....except when I was a missionary in Russia, and that was to convert those "idol worshipers".

PP
Do your Antiochian bishops ever don Western vestments?
Obviously not when celebrating the Byzantine Divine Liturgy; Bishop John might theoretically don western vestments when celebrating with the AWRV but I have not seen any photos of this myself.  If you're thinking about Western style mitres and crosiers, that I have not seen. 
 

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wgw said:
Iconodule said:
primuspilus said:
Ive always wanted to see one. When Bishop THomas comes, he tries to participate as much as he can (Bishop John does great). However, a dyed-in-the-wool Hierarchical Liturgy, I've never seen....except when I was a missionary in Russia, and that was to convert those "idol worshipers".

PP
Do your Antiochian bishops ever don Western vestments?
Obviously not when celebrating the Byzantine Divine Liturgy; Bishop John might theoretically don western vestments when celebrating with the AWRV but I have not seen any photos of this myself.  If you're thinking about Western style mitres and crosiers, that I have not seen.
I just don't think it bodes well for Western Rite if none of the bishops bother learning it or vesting for it when they visit the parishes.
 

vamrat

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Well, it happened.  I was lost as can be but the deacon knew what was up. I guess he actually taught my priest at the seminary, or something like that. 

I was confused, but at least I didn't drop a fan on the bishop...
 

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vamrat said:
Well, it happened.  I was lost as can be but the deacon knew what was up. I guess he actually taught my priest at the seminary, or something like that. 

I was confused, but at least I didn't drop a fan on the bishop...
Did you get slapped, stared at disdainfully, or spoken to wrathfully?
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
vamrat said:
Well, it happened.  I was lost as can be but the deacon knew what was up. I guess he actually taught my priest at the seminary, or something like that. 

I was confused, but at least I didn't drop a fan on the bishop...
Did you get slapped, stared at disdainfully, or spoken to wrathfully?
Perhaps just a harsh finger-pointing.
 

vamrat

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hecma925 said:
Mor Ephrem said:
vamrat said:
Well, it happened.  I was lost as can be but the deacon knew what was up. I guess he actually taught my priest at the seminary, or something like that. 

I was confused, but at least I didn't drop a fan on the bishop...
Did you get slapped, stared at disdainfully, or spoken to wrathfully?
Perhaps just a harsh finger-pointing.
I was told to "get out of the way" once.  But seriously, I don't think the guy has a mean bone in his body.  What a delightful person!  For all the "master this" and "master that" I could not feel any pomposity from him whatsoever.  And when I kissed his hand (probably some times when not necessary) I felt my respect was outweighed by my love.
 
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