Yes, Wednesday and Friday of Cheesefare are celebrated according to the Lenten pattern, with Alleluia at Matins, no Liturgy, no break between Sixth and Ninth Hours, with Typica immediately after Ninth Hour, and Vespers immediately after that, and the Prayer of St Ephraim. It is kind of weird to have Vespers in the morning, but that also happens e.g. at the Vesperal Liturgy on Christmas and Epiphany Eve, which should start at 11am, according to the Typicon.
The only non-Lenten thing about Cheesefare Wed and Fri is no kathismata at the Hours, so it takes a short time. The same thing happens on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Lent, with Hours, Typica and Vespers strung together, but they take a lot longer because of all the Psalms you have to get through (assuming you are reading the kathismata, which many don't). Technically, you're also meant to read portions of the Ladder of St John at Hours. On Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent, Hours and Typica are said all together, but Vespers does not follow Typica, but happens later with the Presanctified Liturgy, as you know. I'm not sure when that's supposed to happen according to the Typicon, but I guess around 1-2pm, so it can be finished and you can have your daily meal shortly after 3pm. Many churches do it in the morning, however, like mine. Then you have Great Compline pretty early, around the same time you normally have Vespers outside Lent. Lent is crazy! I love it that way.
I wonder if on Cheesefare Wed and Fri only one meal is allowed, because there is no break after Sixth Hour, and so no time for the noonday meal, at least according to monastic custom. Days where only one meal is allowed seem to be such days. It would be a meal with dairy, however, not a fasting meal.
Anyone else know?
Hello and a good Great Lent to all of you.
Now that Cheese Week is over, I have some questions about some things that surprised me while I was visiting our metropolia's monastery in Nuremberg last week.
Thursday evening was about what I expected, with vespers and compline in the evening, but Friday morning was something else! We started with matins at 8 a.m. and went on to a series of hours from the horologion, finishing with vespers at about 10:00 a.m. (!) and punctuating it all with frequent recitation of the prayer of St. Ephrem, complete with all the bows and prostrations. I wasn't expecting THAT until this week!
When I asked about doing vespers so early, I was informed that this was standard procedure on Wednesday and Friday of Cheese Week, and that there would be no vespers in the evening. No one seemed to know just why, it was just what the Holy Fathers had determined upon, and so we did it.
I would be very interested in finding out more about all of this - perhaps some of you have your own experiences to share - and how Cheese Week developed.