Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Date of Holy Theophany changed


  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#1 Michael Albert

Michael Albert

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 07 January 2014 - 03:10 PM

This year, Metropolitan Philip, primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in North America, issued a directive for all parishes in the U.S. to celebrate the Feast of Theophany during the Sunday Liturgy on January 5, 2014 (Liturgy of St Basil the Great).  The reason given was so that the children who are in school and the adults who are working, can celebrate the Feast.

 

This did not feel proper to me.  Such reasoning would indicate that all Great Feasts would have to be moved to Sunday if they fell on a week day. Myself and my family were very disturbed by this.

 

Any thoughts?



#2 Alice

Alice

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 673 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 January 2014 - 03:45 PM

Well, we in a parish of the GOA, had the blessing of waters at the end of Sunday's liturgy as well. The priest said that it was indeed part of the church tradition to do this on the fore feast. The Divine Liturgy was also celebrated yesterday, Monday, January 6, which is the feast day. I could not make the liturgy yesterday, as it was my first day of work at a new job. Therefore, I was happy to have been able to receive my new bottle of Holy Water, which is an awesome sacramental.



#3 Michael Albert

Michael Albert

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 07 January 2014 - 04:26 PM

If my understanding is correct, there is Vespers and the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom on the eve of Theophany followed by the Blessing of Water. The next day (Theophany) is the Liturgy of St Basil the Great followed by the Blessing of Water.  Some Churches bless large bodies of water on Theophany (if there is one nearby).

 

My confusion stems from the fact that there were instructions from the primate to celebrate the Theophany Liturgy of St Basil the Great in place of the Sunday morning Liturgy on January 5TH.



#4 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,027 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 January 2014 - 04:48 PM

I have to agree with post #1 and also have doubts about such a move. Some feasts do get moved usually saints' feasts as when that of St George is moved if it falls in Holy Week, but moving a major feast of the Lord and having the Liturgy of St Basil on the Sunday does feel wrong. One's own feeling, though, is not much to go on, and I would welcome some informed posts about this.



#5 Antonios

Antonios

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,039 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 January 2014 - 05:58 PM

One of my Antiochian friends intold me about this on Sunday.  I don't this is a major deal and would fall under economia (IMO)



#6 Michael Albert

Michael Albert

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 07 January 2014 - 06:18 PM

...then I will add another question.  Would it be economia for all major feasts in the Orthodox Church to be changed to Sunday?  I think that maybe the Roman Catholics do this.

 

Perhaps someone from the ranks of clergy can answer this?



#7 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,027 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 January 2014 - 06:40 PM

There is clearly some pastoral sense in moving a feast to a Sunday so that working people can participate in it. Does that, though, in any way disrupt the cycle determined by the Church? Was moving such a feast done in former times?



#8 Antonios

Antonios

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,039 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 January 2014 - 07:08 PM

There is clearly some pastoral sense in moving a feast to a Sunday so that working people can participate in it. Does that, though, in any way disrupt the cycle determined by the Church? Was moving such a feast done in former times?

 

I agree Andreas that there is some pastoral sense in doing what he did so that more people might come and participate.

 

 I don't think it would necessarily disrupt the cycle overall.  For example, it is not as if he has changed the date of Pentecost or Ascencion which follows the prescribed number of days after Pascha (whose date has been formalized via a Ecumenical Council).  And even if he did for pastoral reasons, I don't think it to be such a great deal.  I am pretty sure moving the liturgical services of feasts have been moved in the past on account of economia (for example, sometimes the Nativity service is done on Christmas Eve and other services as well which escape my mind right now).

 

I don't think this should be a big issue unless of course Met. Philip started to do this with many feasts (which I doubt he would do). 


Edited by Antonios, 07 January 2014 - 07:09 PM.


#9 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,027 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 January 2014 - 07:14 PM

Since the blessing of water can be and is done on the Sunday, I would have thought the faithful would have lost nothing unless they particularly liked the Liturgy of St Basil (as my wife and I do, though we were able to attend the monastery here on the Monday).



#10 Antonios

Antonios

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,039 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 January 2014 - 07:19 PM

From my understanding, the Holy Water of the service of the Blessing of the Water on the Eve of Theophany can be taken home and stored and used as needed while the Holy Water of the service of the Blessing of the Water on Theophany must be consumed immediately.  This is the practice of the GOARCH from what I understand.  It may be different with other jurisdictions.



#11 Michael Albert

Michael Albert

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:19 PM

Pastoral reasons? Economia? In many Churches, there are very few who show up for great feasts on a week day.  When the feast is moved to the evening before to accommodate those who go to school and work, there are not more people who attend because of the accommodation.  For example, if the feast of The Transfiguration falls on a Wednesday....and our priest decides to do the Liturgy on Tuesday evening, it does not matter for attendance.  What happened here, is that the Metropolitan decided to move the feast to Sunday because he knew that most people will go to Church on Sunday....and only Sunday.  Again, the progression of reasoning here would be to transfer every great feast to Sunday so that the people can experience it....or perhaps he is beginning a new practice where only Theophany is transferred to Sunday every year.....even if it falls on a Wednesday or Thursday?  Or perhaps it is only done when Theophany falls on a Monday?  Something seems askew to me.

 

Can any clergy chime in on this?



#12 Antonios

Antonios

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,039 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:28 PM

Pastoral reasons? Economia? In many Churches, there are very few who show up for great feasts on a week day.  When the feast is moved to the evening before to accommodate those who go to school and work, there are not more people who attend because of the accommodation.  For example, if the feast of The Transfiguration falls on a Wednesday....and our priest decides to do the Liturgy on Tuesday evening, it does not matter for attendance.  What happened here, is that the Metropolitan decided to move the feast to Sunday because he knew that most people will go to Church on Sunday....and only Sunday.  Again, the progression of reasoning here would be to transfer every great feast to Sunday so that the people can experience it....or perhaps he is beginning a new practice where only Theophany is transferred to Sunday every year.....even if it falls on a Wednesday or Thursday?  Or perhaps it is only done when Theophany falls on a Monday?  Something seems askew to me.

 

Can any clergy chime in on this?

 

Here is the contact information since this seems to really bother you and you would rather speak to a member of the clergy.  I am sure they can have you speak to someone who is a member of the clergy to address your disturbed feelings:

 

Archdiocese Headquarters Contact Information

Phone Number

(201) 871-1355


 

Fax Number
 

(201) 871-7954


 

E-mail
 

archdiocese@antiochian.org



#13 Michael Albert

Michael Albert

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:11 PM

Thank you for your concern for my disturbed feelings.  I have already sent a letter to the Patriarch.  I was just very interested in what some of the clergy who frequent this forum might think about it.



#14 Antonios

Antonios

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,039 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:23 PM

Thank you for your concern for my disturbed feelings.  I have already sent a letter to the Patriarch.  I was just very interested in what some of the clergy who frequent this forum might think about it.

 

I too think it would be interesting to hear what some of the clergy here think as well.  I am of the opinion that they would humbly submit to the decision of the Metropolitan, but that is merely a guess.  And the reason why I tried answering your question in the OP is because I truly do not think this is something for you to feel disturbed about.  After all, today half of the Orthodox world is celebrating Christmas while the other half celebrated it two weeks ago!  And still we feel the joy of the Feast whether we follow this calendar or that!  Indeed, Christ is born every day to those whose hearts believe in Him!

 

  The fact that you sent a letter to the Patriarch is a good thing.  Hopefully you will get an answer which will reduce any concerns or anxieties about this (so far) isolated decision of the Metropolitan. 


Edited by Antonios, 07 January 2014 - 11:28 PM.


#15 Kosta

Kosta

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,516 posts

Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:46 AM

Pastoral reasons? Economia? In many Churches, there are very few who show up for great feasts on a week day.  When the feast is moved to the evening before to accommodate those who go to school and work, there are not more people who attend because of the accommodation.  For example, if the feast of The Transfiguration falls on a Wednesday....and our priest decides to do the Liturgy on Tuesday evening, it does not matter for attendance.  What happened here, is that the Metropolitan decided to move the feast to Sunday because he knew that most people will go to Church on Sunday....and only Sunday.  Again, the progression of reasoning here would be to transfer every great feast to Sunday so that the people can experience it....or perhaps he is beginning a new practice where only Theophany is transferred to Sunday every year.....even if it falls on a Wednesday or Thursday?  Or perhaps it is only done when Theophany falls on a Monday?  Something seems askew to me.
 
Can any clergy chime in on this?



I agree with you. I would prefer the bishops to encourage families to not make their children attend school and instead attend this great feast. There's a moral hazard here. That Christianity is just a sunday morning tradition.

#16 Michael Albert

Michael Albert

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:28 AM

Thank you for giving me your opinion Antonios.  But I do not agree with it.  I believe that whether we observe the Julian calendar....or the revised Julian calendar...it is important to celebrate the Great Feasts on the day that they have been given to us according to Holy Tradition. I hope that the Patriarch answers me.


Edited by Michael Albert, 08 January 2014 - 01:29 AM.


#17 Michael Albert

Michael Albert

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:35 AM

Dear Kosta,

 

Thank you for your reply. I agree. I pull my child out of school and take vacation days from work for all the Great Feasts. I will not pass judgment on those who do not.....but the Great Feasts are wonderful time of prayer and unity for my family.



#18 Antonios

Antonios

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,039 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:57 AM

Kosta and Michael, I think it is a wonderful idea to skip school and work to attend the Great Feasts.  Personally, I take the entire Holy Week off as one of my vacation weeks just to attend the services and help in the parish any way I can.  But the reality is that most people cannot make such sacrifices for whatever (legitimate or illegitimate) reason they have.  Thus, when Met. Philip issues such a directive, it is not IMO necessarily a sign of an unhealthy episcopate but of an unhealthy laity which would require such a decision to be made by the Metropolitan.  His role is to bring people to the faith, to shepherd them the best way he can.  It was probably his thoughts that since it was only the next day away (in fact, while they were celebrating it on Sunday, Monday had already begun somewhere in the world!), it would be to a greater benefit to more of the faithful to perform the service on Sunday when they would already be many more there to worship.  This is entirely acceptable economia from my limited understanding.  I think we should definitely question things that stray from the traditional ways we are used to (after all, we are Orthodox!), but we must be careful in our judgements, especially against those who have been been ordained as Bishops.


Edited by Antonios, 08 January 2014 - 02:09 AM.


#19 Michael Albert

Michael Albert

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 08 January 2014 - 02:12 AM

Dear Antonios,

 

No one is passing judgment.  The Liturgical change is being questioned.

 

You have made your opinion well known to this point.  Thank you. I do not agree. 

 

The Liturgy is suppose to transform the world....the world is not suppose to dictate Liturgical changes. 

 

Apparently I am not the only who has noticed this and is a bit upset. The Byzantine Texas Blog has a short article about it.


Edited by Michael Albert, 08 January 2014 - 02:13 AM.


#20 Antonios

Antonios

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,039 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:00 AM

If I am to take the comments on the blog you are referring to, you still are the only one who seems upset.

And you are passing judgement on the Metropolitan's decision, which I am not saying is inherently bad, just only as a caution that we should be careful in doing so.

With that, I have said my piece on this topic and will exit this thread. If and when you do get a reply from the Patriarch, please let us know. :)




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users