Week 2 Discussion Topic: Do You Think We Need a New Typikon?

Trisagion School Forums Typikon 101 – Fall 2023 Term 3 Week 2 Discussion Topic: Do You Think We Need a New Typikon?

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    • #40522
      Peter George

        It is clear that as time passes, the liturgical needs of a people also change. However, it is important to note, that while Violakis’ Typikon has some pretty significant changes from the ancient Typikon of St. Sabbas, Violakis also strived to preserve as much as possible from the old Typikon, even if he had to present certain things differently. In your opinion (no judgement) do you think the Church should produce a new Typikon, or should we keep to Violakis? Please explain your answer as thoroughly as possible and feel free to respond to the posts of others.

      • #40557

          If presented with the question “do you think the church should adopt a new Typikon” I would immediately say “no”. After thinking about this more I realized that it depends on what we mean by “new”. If new is being used in the sense of a modernized Typikon, meaning a standardization of the unfortunate “straying” from Tradition that we sadly see in America, then I still hold to my answer as “no”. There is another way to take that, this is to say “new” in the sense that Violakis Typikon was “new” in that it fixed or restored developed practices that had been excepted but were not in accord with tradition and where inconsistent. In America there has been a lot of great work done in the area of the Typikon to make the practices of the Orthodox church accessible to English speaking chanters and churches, but there is still work to be done. This effort could be aided in a “new” Typikon meaning that the work of this Typikon takes a different aim at the same goal. This goal being foremost of priority the preserving of our rich and ancient apostolic Tradition. When we are chanting at our church and having to make the sad decision of what parts of the services we have to cut in order to still chant the services in our current situation it would be helpful to have a standardization of practices in this regard, but always with the goal of building up to the full service in its entirety as prescribed by TAS or Violakis.
          It is an unfortunate era in the church as a whole in which “timed” services have lost a unique part of the beauty of our Liturgy: The heavenly existence outside of time which God allows us to glimpse in his Holy Liturgy.
          This being said we still live in America were people are very concerned about the clock and many parishes are not heavily staffed with chanters and clergy, thus making it challenging to do everything as prescribed in TAS or Violakis. Knowing the “ranking” of the parts of the services such as which hymns are older or which are more traditional would aid in preserving, to the best of our ability, the Orthodox Tradition by not allowing more recent hymns or practices take precedence over Tradition.
          Thus the publishing of a Typikon where this is laid out would be helpful. Accepting that chanters are aware of the Orthodox tradition and strive to make TAS or Violakis in its entirety their end goal.

        • #40558

          I believe that the church should not adopt a new Typikon, in the sense that a new one is created without the traditions of the Orthodox church as a guide. But based upon our modern world, where unfortunately the clock plays a big role, it would be nice to have a Typikon that lays out the full service, but also gives options for what can, or should really not be cut. If it was up to me, I would say that we should just do the full services and appreciate the beauty that has been handed down to us from our Holy Fathers. But since it is not, it would be a wonderful blessing to have a deeply researched, traditional form of the Typikon that describes how it can be adapted to different churches based upon their own ability’s.

        • #40604
          Jamie Tarasidis

            When looking at this question, one of my first thoughts was, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more uniformity of practice, and if it was more clear exactly what we’re expected to do?” But then I thought about how we learned that these other typika were descriptive rather than prescriptive. If a new typikon is descriptive, whose practices would it describe? Also, we’ve seen that different typika have been accepted in different regions and jurisdictions, so there’s no reason to think that a new typikon would be universally accepted. This makes me think that a new typikon might not actually bring about more uniformity, except within some specific area. Even creating a Typikon for just the Greek Orthodox Church in America might be a challenge to get buy-in, with multiple Metropolises!

          • #40619

              I would have a very hard time ever saying, “Yes, we need a new typicon” without knowing what that new typikon would look like. I would have a hard time picturing a contemporary typikon-changing committee coming up with something that I would consider an improvement. If the new typikon moved the orthros gospel to its normal place, and left everything else the same, I would be in favor of that, but otherwise I would say the typikon doesn’t need to change.

              One argument that I can see for it would be saying that a typikon describes what it currently happening, and since we obviously aren’t exactly following Violakis, maybe in that sense we do need a new typikon. But I guess at what point does that end? What’s to stop anyone from doing whatever they want, and then after a few years saying we need a new typikon to reflect their changes. If a typikon is just a reflection of what currently happens, then if someone decided to create a new one(s), you’d quickly have typika saying when the organ is supposed to play, etc.

              The other main argument I would expect to hear is that we need a new typikon to cut down on the length of the services. I would say that we in America are generally richer and have more leisure time than most people in the history of the world. And yet, we still “have less time” for church than the people in times past who struggled long and hard for basic survival and still did whatever they could to come to church as often as possible. I think it’s clear that something is wrong with us, not with the services of the Church if we think we need shorter services! Already the people who don’t feel that they have much time for church have the option to come to liturgy only, and those who wish to, can come for all or part of orthros, vespers, and any other services. And if we don’t have time to “watch and pray for one hour” (in a week!), then maybe we need to trim things out of our own schedule elsewhere rather than pushing for a new typikon. We obviously already have no problem with cutting parts out of services for the sake of time (even when the typikon prescribes otherwise), but I would never want to rubber-stamp that (and push our cuts on everyone else) with an official new typikon.

            • #40624

                WOW!!! Katie. That was awesome! That logically summarizes everything about Orthodoxy: The tradition of the Apostolic faith!
                Amen to everything you said!

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