Shortening Church Services??

Tikhon29605

High Elder
Joined
May 20, 2003
Messages
670
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I attend an OCA parish (very much like Elisha describes) and our Sunday Divine Liturgy takes about an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes. I don't have a problem with that length at all. And to be honest, I've never heard anyone in my parish complain about the length of services either. There is NO PRESSURE put on our priest to shorten the services.
 

Timos

High Elder
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Messages
856
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Age
33
Location
Toronto, Canada
zebu said:
Why would you want to shorten services and spend less time in church?!? Seriously, why would you do that if God is really the most important thing in your life? And if He's not, then all this is just a charade and there's not much point in coming at all.
Zebu, because I've got a sister who's a lot younger than me so iss like having a child...and she complains and has to take breaks throughout. I personally love the DL as it is- ansd going back to what Anastasios was saying, I am not in favour of a reform of Liturgy. I'm in favour of doing what some parishes do, where for example the litanies bewteen aniphons are cut out. I just wonder why not too many people my age or oyunger come to church regularly, its only a handful and the rest come here and there or art pascha Christmas, and definitelty the panygiri (festival/feast of church's saint).

As for shorter services, I was also being specific to weekdays where people have work and might no be able to stay for 2 hours in church on a sunday morning (ie. restaurant/food business people-like half the church including my parents until some time ago).
 

Amdetsion

High Elder
Joined
Nov 22, 2004
Messages
931
Reaction score
0
Points
0
The Ethiopian Liturgy runs about 2 1/2 hours standard in American parishes and over 3 hours in any of Ethiopia's 30 thousand parishes and Churches.

No complaints...

Ethiopia has been a Christian country since the 4th century. Thus the church activity is life itself (The Church was one with the government up to 1979). Ethiopia has very little Muslims and other religions remain small and are more effected by the Ethiopian Church culturally.

In America people who are late (after the Holy Gospel) they can not take communion. In America their are strict parishes that will close the doors to the sanctuary during and after the reading of the Holy Gospel until the benediction is over. This is common practice in Ethiopia particularly in the rural areas. People are very excepting of this and will not enter a church service late anyway; but Will simply pray outside or in the parish house.  This is mainly to control tourist that visit the churches these days.

When the liturgy ends people are very slow to leave the sanctuary. The deacons try to politely encourage people to leave. But people remain reading psalms and meditating.

I am unfamiliar with any kind of interest in shortening the service in the Ethiopian Churches. In America that may be likely but not something anyone would want to put forth.

I pray that the worship of God remain in the Orthodox Churches. Worship without concern for the world which is time.

The Angels pray without ceasing and they are already in paradise...Hallelujah!!!.

I work way beyond 5 pm on special projects, I watch sports even if they go into overtime. And I have never heard someone complain that their vacation should be cut short to make more time for work.

WE need to place our priorities in Christ.

We should be worshipping God from sun up to sun down on Sundays in my opinion.
 

Timos

High Elder
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Messages
856
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Age
33
Location
Toronto, Canada
Right. Have a child and your perspective will probably change a wee-bit.
It doesn't help if your child has secularistic tendencies and already questions God's existence from a young age and your church's liturgy is in ancient greek except for the gospel, creed, our father, and sermon.

On the one hand, the parishes which use only/mostly greek lose younger people, but then the monasteries which use all greek attract lots of young people...I think we also need more sermons that hit home, like the ones Fr. Chris Metropoulos does (from Come Receive the Light).
 

Anastasios

Merarches
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
10,555
Reaction score
7
Points
38
Location
Reston, VA
Website
www.anastasioshudson.com
At the end of our five hour services for Christmas and Pascha, Metropolitan Pavlos (who is recuperating after the stroke) usually says something to the children along the lines of this:

http://www.hotca.org/audio/english/EN_010706_HOTCA_MPAV.mp3

I think this goes a long way with some of the children to hear the bishop thanking them for persevering.  He also once thanked my wife for coming; he told her, "I know it must be hard on you to hear so much Greek yet you come anyway. Thank you."

Anastasios
 

Aristocles

Merarches
Joined
Apr 23, 2003
Messages
10,031
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Pittsburgh
Psalti Boy said:
The same in some Greek & Antiochian parishes.  It's just like the midnight Pascha service, in many Greek churches, after the priest proclaims ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΙ the church empties out.
Maybe in 'many', but not in ours.  :)
 

Starlight

OC.Net Guru
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
1,537
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Boston
Probably the solution here will be in customization. Shorter services in some parishes, longer ones in others.
 

Starlight

OC.Net Guru
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
1,537
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Boston
Anastasios said:
Metropolitan Pavlos (who is recuperating after the stroke)
Great to hear that he feels better. Thanks, Anastasios.
 

Psalti Boy

High Elder
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
842
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
68
Location
New York State
Starlight said:
Probably the solution here will be in customization. Shorter services in some parishes, longer ones in others.
Yeah, but in some parishes it might cause a schism. ÂÂ
 

Starlight

OC.Net Guru
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
1,537
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Boston
Psalti Boy said:
Yeah, but in some parishes it might cause a schism. 
What if in order to avoid that, (2) liturgies will be celebrated? As long as there is more then (1)priest. Another solution, my parish during that time when I lived in Washington, (St. Andrew's Cathedral), has a pro-liturgy once a month especially for children. It lasts about (30) minutes. The time is right before the regular Sunday Liturgy. Therefore, it does not substitutes the Liturgy and serves as an additional varaint, instead of a replacement. St. Andrew's Cathedral has (1) priest and (1) protodeacon.
 

Psalti Boy

High Elder
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
842
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
68
Location
New York State
Starlight said:
What if in order to avoid that, (2) liturgies will be celebrated? As long as there is more then (1)priest.
That would be good if we had enough priests, which from what I hear, all jurisdictions need more.  I know of several parishes that have services once or twice per month if a priest is willing to travel from his distant parish.
 

Anastasios

Merarches
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
10,555
Reaction score
7
Points
38
Location
Reston, VA
Website
www.anastasioshudson.com
Starlight said:
Great to hear that he feels better. Thanks, Anastasios.
It's a long recovery--thanks for your prayers and well wishes.  Apparently, he is now fully cognizant, can speak with difficulty, and is regaining some use of his thumb on the right side, which is paralyzed (I am not sure how that all works!).  Anyway, we are hoping he will return to his position as our Metropolitan but time will tell if God wills it.

Anastasios
 

Landon77

Elder
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
308
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
37
Location
TN
Starlight said:
Probably the solution here will be in customization. Shorter services in some parishes, longer ones in others.
No Way! "N" "O"
Please pardon me if I have a knee-jerk reaction to a suggestion that has protestant/neo-Catholic written all over it; I've just spent a lot of time reading some Episcopal threads.  I was Episcopalian for a short while.  Their solution for these sorts of problems was always two different services or two parishes in the same city offering allternitives.  It works in the short run, but in the long run there is a schism and falling outs.  We stick together at all cost- I don't mind listening to fussy, crancky children, it reminds me that there is a future Orthodox generation to raise up.
 

BrotherAidan

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Messages
1,568
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
pennsylvania
To refer back to page one:

I always hear that the Vatican II shortened mass in English is responsible for emptying the Catholic churches. That is very simplistic. There was a cultural revolution going on at about the same time in America, quite independent of Vatican II. If the new mass was the culprit, how to explain the membership exodus of other churches from other communions? And what about our Orthodox churches? I hear all the time about when there were a bunch of altar boys, full attendance every week and packed to the gills on holidays.

Primarily, the liberals went gooey and stupid-hip-relevant and lost young people (and adults) with offering nothing secular song-writers and self-help books didn't already offer better and in a more entertaining and convenient package.

Conservative churches put their collective heads in the sand and tried to pretend the cultural tsunami wasn't engulfing them or their kids.

And poof! America became a post-Christian country.

I give the evangelicals credit for trying to maintain traditional doctrine while creating program-oriented churches to retain their people. Alot of times it worked too. And, face it, Protestants are the majority in the US and evangelicals should at least get some credit for stemming the cultural tide. Everyone can bark that they aren't the "true" levy (church); they weren't built by by the army corp of engineers (apostolic succession); but they have been some damn good sandbags, haven't they!
 

Starlight

OC.Net Guru
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
1,537
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Boston
Psalti Boy said:
all jurisdictions need more.ÂÂ
Psalti,
Yes, that is a serious problem. Looks like situation slowly changes for better. But slowly, as I said.
Psalti Boy said:
I know of several parishes that have services once or twice per month if a priest is willing to travel from his distant parish.
Thanks God. I mean, better then nothing. The continuation may bring more improvement. Of course, not always, but many parishes started that way.
Anastasios said:
It's a long recovery--thanks for your prayers and well wishes. Apparently, he is now fully cognizant, can speak with difficulty, and is regaining some use of his thumb on the right side, which is paralyzed (I am not sure how that all works!). Anyway, we are hoping he will return to his position as our Metropolitan but time will tell if God wills it.

Anastasios
Anastasios,
You are very welcome. Appears to be a great improvement. Glad to hear.

Landon77 said:
No Way! "N" "O"
Please pardon me if I have a knee-jerk reaction to a suggestion that has protestant/neo-Catholic written all over it; I've just spent a lot of time reading some Episcopal threads. I was Episcopalian for a short while. Their solution for these sorts of problems was always two different services or two parishes in the same city offering allternitives. It works in the short run, but in the long run there is a schism and falling outs. We stick together at all cost- I don't mind listening to fussy, crancky children, it reminds me that there is a future Orthodox generation to raise up.
Seraphim,
I also don't mind children in a church. I agree that they are future of Orthodoxy. Hopefully, I will get my own one day...
Actually, don't you think that the problem with Episcopalians comes from the fact that they did not establish an exact border line between theologumena and heresy. Theologumenas are needed, but not a heresy, of course. As a result, some people promote ideas, which cannot be supported by others. Honestly, some of these ideas seem totally strange.
Instead, when you have different traditions in various parsihes with the same dedication to Orthodox theology, - that would not hurt. This would be just a difference in customs, so to speak. And for technical reasons, (lack of priests, etc.) it cannot be always a solution.
There is no reason to fall out just because of the length of the service.
 

Timos

High Elder
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Messages
856
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Age
33
Location
Toronto, Canada
I'm not so much in favour of "parochial customization" although I don't doubt it has some merits. What I am in favour for is a youth/children liturgy once a month in english with all the the same hymns/chants and prayers as regular Divine Liturgy but the simplified texts and melodies. For example, Eikona has produced a short casete of simple church hymns with their traditional byzantine melodies that anyone can sing. Sure, they don't sound as beautiful as the longer, more texturized chants, but if it works for kids, that what matters because if they try to "get it" at a young age, there won't be any chanter standing in the psaltiri in 20 years time.

Twice a year our priest does an all english liturgy and its really nice. The last time he did it, he brought a portable altar and some pews were positioned sideways so that the kids could see everything what was going on. Of course that would not be practical nor proper for a regular liturgical usage, but the english language and simple byzantine melodies sure would help if put in place regularly.
 

Father Paul Andrew

Sr. Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2006
Messages
249
Reaction score
0
Points
0
You guys want to shorten the Liturgy. Why don't we ask our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to shorten the Liturgy to 30 mintues.  By cuting the Liturgy in half and cutting out Communion. this should make people happy
 

DerekMK

Protokentarchos
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
5,437
Reaction score
0
Points
0
You guys want to shorten the Liturgy. Why don't we ask our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to shorten the Liturgy to 30 mintues.  By cuting the Liturgy in half and cutting out Communion. this should make people happy
Perhaps I'm going out on a limb here, but does communion really take that long in your parish? 
 

Timos

High Elder
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Messages
856
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Age
33
Location
Toronto, Canada
Father Paul Andrew said:
You guys want to shorten the Liturgy. Why don't we ask our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to shorten the Liturgy to 30 mintues. By cuting the Liturgy in half and cutting out Communion. this should make people happy
Excuse me Fr. Paul, but I haven't read any comments on anyone wanting to cut the litugy in half or cutting out communion so I assume you were being sarcastic. More english would certainly help and for children liturgies, I know some priests urge the chanter not to take their time on all the chants so it doesn't seem to drag on and on for the kids. Another method is to make the children learn the  hymns (except for maybe the Cherubic Hymn and the kontakion etc) before hand and then they are really the choir, which I've heard countless times was the original practise.
 

BJohnD

Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2003
Messages
213
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
54
Location
NorCal
Elisha said:
Things we do that do NOT lengthen the service:
1.  Sing/Chant at a reasonable pace and not slow and drawn out.
2.  Have 2 or even 3 Communion lines (Yes, we frequently have 3 priests, although I have no idea how long it will last).
3.  We DO read the post-Communion prayers, but this happens DURING the cross veneration and does zilch to lengthen the time in church.  Besides, not everyone stays in the church after they venerate the cross.
4.  Only a couple of mass (meaning general) commemorations during the Great Entrance.  It is an OCA parish, so no long procession like which usually happens in Antiochian parishes (GOA too?).

Things we do that DO add length:
1.  Chant verses during the Beatitudes (we do this 90+% of the time - rubrics say so and our priest is conservative and the bishop emphasizes these).
2.  Sermon sometimes goes longer than planned.  They say they try to keep it to 10 minutes, but it doesn't always happen.
3.  We almost always do all the litanies between the Gospel and Cherubic Hymn.  On Pentecost, the sermon was shorter and we only did the augmented litany...and liturgy ended promptly at 11:30 and we went immediately into the kneeling Vespers.
4.  Memorials/Commemorations can push things over the 2 hr mark occasionally.  Unfortunately, the family of those for memorials would just not come on a Saturday.
I'm a member of a sister OCA parish of Elisha's and his comments track very closely with my own experience, except for the multiple communion lines.  We experimented with this at one time, but I don't think our Rector liked it much.  Anyway, DL lasts about 1:40, about 1:50 or so during Great Lent.  Maybe it's an OCA thing. 

Tikhon mentioned this one:

5. Have the Divine Liturgy begin exactly at the time appointed. (my priest is wonderful about that.)
Our DL almost never starts precisely on time.  My friends and I call this flexible beginning "Orthodox Time."  As the Assistant Priest at my parish once said, "Whatever time the Divine Liturgy starts, that's 9 o'clock."  ;)

On the other hand, in the Episcopal parish I belonged to before my conversion starting late was considered the Eighth Deadly Sin.  And if the service should last more than 1:05....!  :eek:
 
Top