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What is the difference between the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches?


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#21 John Mitchell

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:05 PM

The biggest difference, out side Holy Week traditions, is the way they make their bows from the waste. Russians making the full sign of the cross and then bowing seems to cause the gesture to be made hurridly in english services(shorter words) to keep up with the saying of the tripple Alleluias. However, the Greeks, by combining the making of the cross with the bowing motion take slightly less time to make the gesture wich allows it to be done with more reverence, wich in my opinion is more favorable since the demons rejoice at the sign of the cross being irreverently made in a hasty flurry.

#22 Father David Moser

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:31 PM

Its not just whim that is the source of that practice in the Russian Church. One of my brother priests tells of how during his days in seminary at Holy Trinity, one of the senior instructors chastised him for bowing during the cross saying that in doing so, he would "break the cross". For that reason one must wait, he was told, to make the bow until after the cross is completed.

The length of the words has really nothing to do with it since they really are about the same in English or Slavonic. So the answer is not to choose one method over the other - but rather to do whatever you do with the utmost attention and reverence.

Fr David Moser

#23 Michael C.

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:13 PM

What is the difference? Vodka :)




Ha! You're wrong, it's Ouzo!

#24 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 08:25 AM

One difference that I love is that Russian Orthodox Churches have their wonderful choirs. Truly heavenly music. I have read that this is because the Russian Church has been "tainted" by other cultures, but I don't really care. I love this music - if only I could understand the words.................................

#25 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:28 AM

One difference that I love is that Russian Orthodox Churches have their wonderful choirs. Truly heavenly music. I have read that this is because the Russian Church has been "tainted" by other cultures, but I don't really care. I love this music - if only I could understand the words.................................


The best of these choirs, in the opinion of many, are Holy Trinity St Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad (plus its podvorie/metochion in central Moscow) and Sretensky Monastery in central Moscow. Sretensky is a professional choir - they do tours around the world. Both publish CDs/MP3s but I don't know where you'd get them from (we bought our collection in Moscow). The Lavra Podvorie does a very fine 2CD of the Divine Liturgy in Znammeni chant rather than polyphonic.

#26 Paul Cowan

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 04:10 AM

St. Panteleimon on Athos had an awesome barber shop quartet thing going on when I was there.

#27 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:32 AM

Greek chant can also be heavenly. I will never forget the early morning liturgy at the women's monastery of Agios Stephanos at Meteora - the sisters sang like angels!

#28 Olga

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:38 AM

To Andreas' last two posts, I can add:

Honourable mention must also go to the Novospassky Monastery Choir, and the choirs of the Kiev Caves (I concur with his accolade for the Sretensky choir); perhaps the finest Greek choir these days would be that of the Vatopedi Monastery, with honourable mention going to the nuns of the Holy Cross Monastery in Corinth.




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