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Great or Daily Vespers

vespers diataxis

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#1 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 12:51 AM

Not considering Vigils, Saturdays or Great Feasts, what are the determining factors of serving a Great Vespers as opposed to a Daily Vespers? Is it anchored on the factor of there being a Doxastikon for the celebrated Saint? It has been our parish's common practice to simply serve Great Vespers if we celebrate a Liturgy the following day, and Daily Vespers if we don't, but it doesn't seem like the services in the Menaion care whether or not the parish chooses to serve a Liturgy. If a parish served Liturgy every day of the week, wouldn't that mean that every Vespers prior would be a Great Vespers? What if there is no Doxastikon for the Saint? I am most likely assuming incorrectly, but I have a feeling that the simple 'Liturgy? Great. No Liturgy? Daily' rule is based on common American practice of not serving many weekday liturgies unless it was a larger feast that would inherently have a Doxastikon. 

 

Thanks for any assistance. 



#2 Rdr Thomas

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 02:10 AM

The rule of thumb that I've been taught is that you will see Old Testament readings for Great Vespers.  But that's just a rule of thumb.  There may be a more accurate, rubrics based way of determining this.



#3 Ben Johnson

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 04:33 AM

The middle of this Orthodoxwiki article should help:  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Great_Vespers



#4 Father David Moser

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 02:35 PM

Every feast (saint's celebration) has a particular "rank" - simple, double, doxology, polyeleos or vigil.  A great vespers is only called for when there is a saint of polyeleos rank or higher, otherwise a simple service is held.  The Sunday services are always vigil rank because Sunday is a little Pascha therefore the menaion service (whatever it may be) is always combined with the Sunday service (from the Octoechos in the tone of the week) and served according to the Vigil rank service order.

 

A good rule of thumb is what Thomas answered above that if there are OT readings prescribed then great vespers is celebrated.  Of course Sunday services don't necessarily follow those rules because we don't carry the Paschal OT readings (usually heard in the context of the Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy) on throughout the year, so there are only OT readings when the menaion feast has them, but otherwise the OT readings rule is a pretty good indicator for services from the menaion.

 

Fr David Moser.



#5 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 05:00 PM

Thank you all for the insight and references. In the case of the HTM Menaion and Horologion, and serving for a Greek parish, I haven't noticed the rankings being as obvious as some of the printed symbology mentioned from various Russian sources...And perhaps it is indeed there, I just haven't noticed.

 

So Fr. David, would the inclusion of the Doxastikon also be the condition for a Great Doxology (3rd rank?). If so, even this rank is not enough for a Great Vespers, but rather the Polyleos rank above it would be grounds to serve the Great Vespers. Is that accurate? Thanks again!






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