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Ερώτηση:
Αγαπητέ πάτερ,
Είμαι ιεροψάλτης από την Ρόδο και βρήκα τη διεύθυνσή σας από την ωραία ιστοσελίδα σας στο διαδίκτυο. Θα ήθελα να σας υποβάλω ένα ερώτημα λειτουργικής τάξεως.
Σε περίπτωση που κάποιος πιστός προσκομίσει εόρτια κόλλυβα στο ναό σε μνήμη μη επισήμως εορταζομένου αγίου κατά την οποία τελείται καθημερινός και όχι εορταστικός όρθρος σε ποιο σημείο της ακολουθίας του όρθρου θα γίνει η ευλόγηση των κολλύβων; Μετά τη μικρά δοξολογία ή στο τέλος προ της απολύσεως;
Δεν αναφέρω την πιθανότητα η ευλόγηση να γίνει στη θεία λειτουργία διότι αυτή είναι πιθανόν να μην τελείται.

Ευχαριστώ πολύ.

Π. Π.

 

Translation of Question:

Dear Father,
I am a chanter from Rhodes and found your address from your wonderful website on the internet. I would like to put a question to you concerning a matter of liturgical order. If, during the singing of Daily Mattins (and not the usual Mattins for a feast), one of the faithful brings Kolyva for the commemoration of a lesser known saint who is not officially celebrated, at which part of the service should the Priest bless the Kolyva: after the small doxology or just before the end before the dismissal? I don’t mention the possibility of the blessing being done during the Divine Liturgy because of the possibility of the Liturgy not being served.


Thank you
P.P.

 


Answer to Question 7:
Dear P.
Your question is difficult to answer because I have never been brought Kolyva in the situation that you mention, but let’s look at it with some logic. The only period where Mattins is sung without the Divine Liturgy is during Great Lent where, apart from the Liturgy of the Presanctified, it is forbidden to serve the Divine Liturgy except on Saturdays and Sundays. During these mournful days the celebration of saint-days is not allowed and all feasts are moved to the nearest Saturday or Sunday. On all other days of the year (except Wednesday and Friday of Cheeseweek) the Divine Liturgy is always served. Of course, in monasteries after Mattins, they read the Hours and then begins the Divine Liturgy. In parishes, we do not serve the Liturgy everyday, but only on the Great Feasts, the Feasts of the well known saints and a few of the lesser known saints when we have faithful who observe these feasts. The only time I can imagine that would justify serving only Mattins, without the Liturgy, is in Churches where the Priest is by himself without the help of a chanter. Let us therefore hypothetically say that a reverent Priest is in the habit of singing Mattins everyday by himself and someone brings him Kolyva to commemorate the memory of a certain saint: when should he bless them?
I believe that your question ha
s been influenced by the circumstances when some bring loaves for the Blessing of Bread (Artoklasia) in the morning and not during Vespers and in which it is recommended that the blessing be done after the Great Doxology and not at the end of the Divine Liturgy. This is done as a dispensation, because the correct place for the Blessing of Bread (if we exclude that it is anticipated only when there is an All-night Vigil) is towards the end of Great vespers. The blessing is also done as a dispensation after the Great Doxology of Mattins, not because it has any bearings with the Doxology, but because it is the last thing that the faithful hear before the onset of the Divine Liturgy. Thus, I believe that the blessing of the Kolyva during the Daily Mattins should be done in the same way, in other words, not after the small doxology, because with Daily Mattins the service still has a continuance, but just before the dismissal. By dispensation, both the blessing of bread and the Kolyva are blessed at the end of Mattins even if the Divine Liturgy is to follow straight after, because after the Divine Liturgy, it would be wrong, from a theological point of view, to offer any other prayers other than the Prayers of Thanksgiving. The Divine Liturgy is the most perfect prayer that we can offer and which is offered to us. To offer other things at the end only diminishes what is perfect. The Priest, with tact, must teach his flock that the custom, which prevails in many places, of commemorating the names of those who observe the feast at the end of the Divine Liturgy is wrong. At first, they will react negatively, thinking that the Priest is trying to abolish their reverent customs, but in time they will come to accept the new rule and even embrace it as their established custom. During the past few years, we in Limassol have abolished the commemoration of names and the Blessing of Bread and Kolyva at the end of the Divine Liturgy. The Blessing of Bread is always done during Vespers and commemoration of the names of those who observe the feast during the Vespers petitions “Let us all say with our whole soul, and with our whole mind, let us say” and again during the Divine Liturgy during the petitions “Let us all say with our whole soul, and with our whole mind, let us say” and then after this only what belongs the Divine Liturgy proper.
Of course there are always exceptions when special needs enforce them, for instance, in villages where they don’t have a permanent priest and therefore don’t serve Vespers but only Mattins and the Divine Liturgy. In general though, the people have learnt not to bring breads and Kolyva in the morning. But if by chance someone does bring after the start of the Divine Liturgy, then the Priest is obliged to bless them. If they bring breads then after the “Behind the Pulpit Prayer” the chanter sings the hymn for the saint, then Glory… and again the same hymn and then the Priest shall say Now and forever… and the Hymn “O Virgin Mother of God…” and then the prayer for the blessing of the Five Loaves without the petitions “Have mercy upon us O God..” Similarly with the Kolyva, he shall say the prayer for the Kolyva without any other petitions.