[quote="TrueLight, post:10, topic:252247"]
When I visited the OCA, I asked for a guide book and I was given one!
Most of the liturgy was in English. Imagine me trying to sing along....softly. :p
But the music was so beautiful I had to try.
I figured out that the sign of the cross was made at each mention of the trinity, so I just followed along.
Is there a guide book for Great Vespers? I plan on attending one within the next two weeks.
St. Elias UGCC
The OCA is currently revamping their site, and it keeps changing. I can't really find stuff I used to find easily, but I assume they do still have texts and music both there that you can download.
The Dept of Religious Ed of the OCA has a whole series of 4" X 6" booklets on various services, but I don't think they have one for the routine Sat. night Vespers. You can see them here on the SVS Press site. Scroll down and see "The Bridegroom Services of Holy Week". They all look like that, each service booklet is a different color on the body and a white strip at the top with the title printed there. The OCA parish you went to might have them in their bookstore.
I've already put out my prejudice here many times. If you want to look up the service ahead of time to get a general idea, great, and even look at the Troparia and Kontakia for the day. But I'm against using a service book in the DL or services. I think it is much richer to just listen, join in when you can on the many repetitions, and keep your eyes up, not on a printed page. I was in the Paraklisis service at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral here on Friday and more than 50% was in Greek, untranslated. They had printed out the text, English on the left , Greek on the right, on 8X10 paper. I picked up a copy and looked at it for about 30 seconds. This Cathedral has only a very "simple" iconostatis and then the traditional Christ Pantocrator on the ceiling and the 12 apostles circling him. So there isn't much to look at in terms of iconography. Still I was happy to let the praying in Greek wash over me. Part of the time whenever I'm at that parish for these services, with the literally 5 other people who turn up... I just pull my chotki off my wrist and pray the Jesus Prayer for a while. I do know I missed a lot of really beautiful language by not checking out the English translation, tho sometimes the Greek's translations leave something to be desired...:) There were chunks in Slavonic last night as usual which I didn't know what was being prayed. 99% was in English there, OCA, and the 1% in Slavonic I adore hearing.