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Sundays of Great Lent


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#1 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 07:10 PM

It is well known that Saturdays and Sundays are not technically days of the Great Fast though fasting is observed save for the relaxation in respect of wine and oil. I have two questions regarding the celebration of the Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great on Sundays in Great Lent.

 

First, it appears from looking at YouTube clips that the colour of vestments used varies from Lenten purple to gold, to gold, to white (Greek style with crosses) and even in the same church a mixture of purple and gold. Is there a baseline as to what is the proper colour of vestments for Great Lent Sundays, or is there no clear universal practice?

 

Secondly, with regard to singing, where Russian melodies are used, are the Lenten melodies for weekdays set aside for Sundays of Great Lent, and the usual melodies used?



#2 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 07:57 PM

Dear Andreas,

 

In regard to the first question, according to the Typicon of Constantinople: Feast:Bright vestments (White, Red, Green ect...) Fast:Dark Vestments (Dark Blue, Crimson, Purple  ect...), in Lent Sundays and Saturdays, in most parishes, follow festal order but I don't think it is covered in the typicon. In many churches such as Jerusalem and Russia I believe purple is worn on Sundays and Saturdays and Black in the week. In our parish Father and the Deacon tend to wear Red and our servers vestments are a mix of white and red respectively. In other words no I don't think there is any universal order. 

 

Might I ask a question of mine own? Do you (or anyone else here) use a special incense in Lent which comes in a hard lump which is then smashed and smells a bit like pine and eucalyptus? I've not noticed its being used anywhere else I've been bar our parish. But we use it every Lent.

 

In Christ.

Daniel,



#3 Olga

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 10:44 PM

 First, it appears from looking at YouTube clips that the colour of vestments used varies from Lenten purple to gold, to gold, to white (Greek style with crosses) and even in the same church a mixture of purple and gold. Is there a baseline as to what is the proper colour of vestments for Great Lent Sundays, or is there no clear universal practice?

 

In my experience, Greek custom does not have anywhere near the developed system of liturgical colours seen in Russian churches, other than "bright" and "dark". Indeed, the Greek churches I have attended over the years did not have drapes on their analogia, only on the altar itself.

 

Russian churches "wear" purple during Great Lent, with clergy wearing red vestments for Saturday night vigils and Sunday DL, with the purple drapes left on, as much for practical purposes, as Russian churches often have multiple analogia and other structures which are draped, such as the Crucifix behind the commemoration stand, the priest's movable lectern, and the confessional stand.

 

Where a major feasts falls during Great Lent, such as the Annunciation, clergy will wear the appropriate festal colour, and, at the very least, the analogion bearing the festal icon will be draped in the same colour.


 

 

Secondly, with regard to singing, where Russian melodies are used, are the Lenten melodies for weekdays set aside for Sundays of Great Lent, and the usual melodies used?

 

Yes. Sunday (and Saturday evening) remain resurrectional, so the non-Lenten melodies are used, and the prayer of St Ephraim the Syrian is not said.



#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 11:58 PM

Thank you for your replies. I have heard the point made that since most people come to church only on Sundays, Lenten melodies are still used otherwise the people would never hear them. Is this a reasonable point? I see that the Russian practice in Russia is to mostly to keep purple vestments throughout the Lenten Sundays.



#5 Olga

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 03:45 AM

I have heard the point made that since most people come to church only on Sundays, Lenten melodies are still used otherwise the people would never hear them. Is this a reasonable point?

 

From what I've observed here in the antipodes, I doubt such a practice would find much support. Russians here are a pretty conservative lot, liturgically-speaking. ;)

 

I see that the Russian practice in Russia is to mostly to keep purple vestments throughout the Lenten Sundays.

 

Even for clergy? Interesting, if that's the case.



#6 Dimitris

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 11:00 AM

Hallo!
 

It is well known that Saturdays and Sundays are not technically days of the Great Fast though fasting is observed save for the relaxation in respect of wine and oil.

I hear this for the first time. Why should Saturdays and Sundays technically not be regarded as days of the Great Fast?

#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 12:10 PM

Saturdays are set apart from the Fast because Saturday is the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, when the Lord rested from creating the world and universe. I assume also that we remember that Saturday was when Christ despoiled Hades. Sundays were declared by the First Ecumenical Council to be the Lord's day when the faithful worship God; every Sunday is a little Pascha and for the joy of the Resurrection, we do not fast as we do on weekdays.



#8 Dimitris

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 04:39 PM

Hallo!

It is true what you write about the meaning of Saturdays and Sundays, however I do not agree that Saturdays and Sundays are set apart from the fast. If they were, the whole naming of this fasting period, "Tessarakoste", the "forty days fast", would make no sense.

"The Lord consecrated and sanctified these Forty Days of the Fast by fasting Himself for forty days." (From the second canon of Monday of the first week of Great Lent, http://www.ocf.org/O...iodion/lent1mon.) If you don't count Saturdays and Sundays you will not reach 40 days of fasting by the end of Great Lent. Yes, fasting is relaxed on these days for the reasons you wrote, but still they formally count as fasting days.

Edited by Dimitris, 21 March 2016 - 04:41 PM.


#9 Father David Moser

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 05:02 PM

According to what I have been taught, Dimitris is correct: Saturdays and Sundays are indeed counted within the days of Great Lent.  They are not, however, strictly fasting due to the festal nature of the Sabbath and the Resurrection and so the fast is relaxed slightly to allow wine and oil.  In the same way, higher ranking feasts (Such as the 40 martyrs) and the Great Feast of the Annunciation are also relaxed, but remain part of the 40 days.  It is exactly 40 days from Clean Monday to the Friday before Lazarus Saturday.  Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday begin Holy Week which is, in fact, outside Great Lent and is a separate fasting period.

 

Fr David Moser



#10 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 06:22 PM

Thank you, Father, for the clarification. Saturdays and Sundays are counted within the forty days as you say; what I meant was that they are not strictly fast days in the way that weekdays are for the reasons given. Do you have any comment on the two questions I raised?






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