What is Vespers Like?


#41

[quote="Hesychios, post:40, topic:240909"]
I hate to say this (there was a thread recently about what I am going to write next) but this is sort of a nod to the latin way of writing laws to encompass these odd contingencies. In this case a writing an exception into law, instead of leaving it as a pastoral matter. It is not Orthodox, and it is not Roman Catholic, it's sort of a compromise.

I suppose that since the CCEO came out of the Vatican, it is what should be expected.

[/quote]

Well you cannot really compare it to the Orthodox because the Orthodox doesn't have a Church in its communion that dominates it in most other parts of the world outside its traditional lands. For example just in Metro Vancouver, there's 4 Ukrainian Catholic Parishes, 1 Melkite Mission in a RC parish, and 1 Chaldean mission also in a RC parish. There's over 50 RC parishes with Masses at various times starting from 5pm to 7pm on Saturdays and from 6am to 7pm on Sundays. Plus they probably are conveniently located near where some of the ECs are. The Canons were written that way to encourage the ECs to keep their spirituality rather than adopt a Roman spirituality out of convenience.

On the Orthodox side, I know of at least 4 Orthodox churches, 2 Ukrainian, 1 OCA and 1 Greek. There's probably more but I'm not aware of them. But definitely no where near the number of the RC parishes.


#42

[quote="TrueLight, post:38, topic:240909"]
I love that the service is in the dark. Do the people prostrate at the same time or only the clergy?

[/quote]

Yes. During the prayer of St Ephraim the Syrian everyone prostrates. The prayer has three "lines" and in my experience we prostrate and return to standing at the end of each line. For those who are not able to do that they may do one prostration or only a deep bow. Even the 92 year old in my parish does at least one full prostration with any of these prayers in Great Lent. It's prayed in daily services during Great Lent and we pray it at home throughout the day in Great Lent.

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, idle curiosity (meddling), lust for power and idle talk.
But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity (integrity), humility, patience and love.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

[quote="TrueLight, post:38, topic:240909"]

So I sing in this awesome Protestant choir and we sung two Russian songs in the past. ...
I was racking my brain trying to remember them which was hard because they're in Russian, he he.

But I just remembered the composer (Rachmaninov) and the song, Bogorodice Djevo.

Any of you know it? So moving.

[/quote]

I don't know this myself. The tune has very classic Russian "themes" in it. It's lovely. If no one here recognizes it I can post it on another forum where I'm sure someone will know it.

I love every feast so I always find myself saying "X is one of my very favorite feasts!" :D Anyway... I do love Exaltation of the Precious and Life-creating Cross. Here are a couple of places where we prostrate:

In the vigil in my experience in our parish and in the Russian Orthodox parish I go to "Lord, have mercy" "Gospodi pomilui" is prayed 100 times when the priest or bishop is facing east, for south, for west, for north. While the priest is lowering and raising the Cross in the Orthodox parish I go to two people stand on either side of the priest and pour water over the flowers.

Before Thy Cross is at the close of the service. These priests look worn out, by these final prostrations. I note that the first priest touches his forehead to the cross after kissing it. This is what I learned to do when venerating a holy icon or the Cross. Our priest has served the Melkites for years so I thought it might come from them.

As in these videos we chant in English, then in Church Slavonic, etc. We do that on Sundays for the Trisagion "Holy God, Holy Mighty..." first English, then Slavonic, then English, and other prayers which repeat like that. I'll be interested to hear from you how English and Church Slavonic are used at St. Michael's.

I'll attach a picture of our Cross decorated for this feast, on the analogion after the vigil, on the feast day. That actual brass cross is probably about 9X12. Unfortunately the Orthodox parish seems to be updating their website so I can't attach photos from there. Their cross is usually surrounded by chrysanthemums. Everyone also gets a mum when we go up to receive a blessing from the priest at the end.

I'm jealous you are going to Saint Michael's. Bring them greetings from a parishioner in SF. I see they are on Facebook. I would love to visit the other 3 Russian parishes in the US but it seems unlikely I will. But one never knows...


#43

[quote="5Loaves, post:42, topic:240909"]

I'm jealous you are going to Saint Michael's. Bring them greetings from a parishioner in SF. I see they are on Facebook. I would love to visit the other 3 Russian parishes in the US but it seems unlikely I will. But one never knows...

[/quote]

Looking at the community page on their site, it looks like I'm going to stick out like a sore thumb.

But I'm somewhat brave, so I'll give it a try.

By the way, I wanted to go today but decided not to because my 13 year old is a little afraid that the rapture is in fact going to happen at 6 PM Eastern, so it would be uncaring for me to be out and about at 6.

I'll let you know what it was like when I go.


#44

That sort of illustrates my point.

OK, this canon applies to all Eastern Catholic, of whatever rite, and it doesn’t come from any of them. It doesn’t come from the Latin church either, it’s all new, but you are saying that it was put in place because the Latin church is in a dominating position in the communion “…to encourage the ECs to keep their spirituality rather than adopt a Roman spirituality”. So then (supposing you are right about this) basically it is a law to protect the EC from dissolving into the Latin church.

I tend to disagree with your explanation but I am at a loss to come up with a better one.

It’s a one size fits all invention that is now the law even among Melkite Catholics in Syria and Lebanon, the Coptic Catholics in Egypt and Syro-Malabar Catholics in India. It is the law in all of those places even though they should not have an overwhelming majority of Latin Catholic parishes around them. The practice doesn’t come from any of those traditions AFAIK, but now they have it thanks to some people in the Vatican.


#45

[quote="TrueLight, post:38, topic:240909"]
Any of you know it? So moving.

[/quote]

Yes, I used to sing it in choir.


#46

[quote="TrueLight, post:9, topic:240909"]
Thanks for really breaking it down and the comparison between Latin versus Byzantine.

Would you say that it differs dramatically from one Eastern rite to the other?

[/quote]

I wouldn't know; I've only experienced Roman, Byzantine, and Dominican...


#47

[quote="Hesychios, post:45, topic:240909"]
Yes, I used to sing it in choir.

[/quote]

Do you remember any other great pieces in Russian by him? I cannot remember the name of the other song and I can't find it on Google. :(


#48

[quote="TrueLight, post:47, topic:240909"]
Do you remember any other great pieces in Russian by him? I cannot remember the name of the other song and I can't find it on Google. :(

[/quote]

I'd hesitate to guess.

May I suggest something by Kedrov? The hauntingly beautiful Our Father. Octe Nash.


#49

I’m pretty sure it’s by Rachmaninoff as well. I can never get the spelling of his name right!

The Octe Nash is nice. It reminds me of the Liturgy that I attended.


#50

[quote="TrueLight, post:38, topic:240909"]

But I just remembered the composer (Rachmaninov) and the song, Bogorodice Djevo.
Any of you know it? So moving.

[/quote]

Try an alternate English spelling Bogoroditse Devo "Rejoice, O Virgin". He wrote a Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and a Vespers service. Our choir sings among his composition his Bless the Lord at twice that tempo. The bells on that recording are so not Russian style... these are. (Russian bells don't move, the clanppers move.)


#51

Maybe i am in a dangerous neighbourhood now, but i go to mass to spend time with christ.
And also to be closer to God.

I was supposed to go a new (for me) parish yesterday, but circumstanses made me have to put that on hold for a week. But yes, next saturday i do intend to find out what Vespers and the dominican liturgy is like.

Now, i will be quiet and sit in my corner again.

:blush:


#52

So I asked the director for the name of the song. It is called Blagoslovi dushe Moya
Ghospoda
, by Ippolitov Ivanovo.

Starts at about :40.


#53

I cannot speak for any other church but I attend Vespers daily at my local Benedictine Priory. It is a beautiful service, held at 5pm daily and sung in Latin. It is one of very few services open to the public, although I also attend Mass which is held after Terce at 10.45am. Again sung in the Latin, and followed by Sext. If you want to hear the beauty of Vespers but are unable to attend a service I cannot recommend highly enough that you look on YouTube for a recording of Rachmaninov’s Vespers, as sung in the Russian Orthodox Church. It is a truly beautiful experience and one I indulge in if I have to miss attending at the Priory for any reason.
God Bless.
Deo Gratias.


#54

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.