After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


Typicon Book in English

• Note from JPP

This now available


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John-Peter Presson

Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 7:35 AM
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For a mere $100, the Typikon of the Great Church can be yours.  There have been ragtag, samizdat and otherwise unofficial renderings of this, which we have acquired over the years, but this is the first thing IN PRINT.



Here are two pertinent quotes from The (ROCOR) Festal Menaion (page
543) regarding the Violakis Typikon:

"Violakis made extensive and often ill-advised changes, especially in
the order of the service for Matins on Sunday: for example, the
katavasiai are appointed to be sung all together at the end of
Canticle Eight of the Canon, instead of occurring one at the end of
each canticle; and the reading of the Gospel is moved from its old
position before the Canon, and awkwardly inserted between Canticles
Eight and Nine. Thus Canticle Nine is separated from those which
precede it, and the whole structure of the Canon is unhappily

"In making these and other changes, perhaps Violakes was not
innovating but simply giving formal approval to practices which had
already become established in parishes. Presumably the Gospel was
moved nearer to the end of the service because so few of the
congregation arrived in time for the earlier parts of Matins!"

Generally when the Canon is read, (the GOC) follows the Great Church practice with the Katavasiae.

The transference of the Matinal Gospel rite is only done if one of the 11 Sunday Eothonon Gospels are read.  Great Feasts falling on a Sunday, the normative placement of the Gospel is prescribed.  

The Sunday Matins Gospel and such are famously used to discredit the 1888 Typikon of the Great Church, but fails to mention that it also is very sound a many places, and provides a generally normative practices for parishes without the excesses of relying on a largely monastic typikon, which nobody, it seems, (even the monastics) is able to follow in toto, and in spite of current Patriarchal practices to the contrary, actually prescribes the chanting of the Typika Psalms and Beatitudes with verses as a normative Sunday practice.  Some practices, I believe to have more liturgical continuity, such as the "Sunday after Feast" rule, which prescribes only the Festal hymns for given celebration to be chanted in conjunction with the normative Resurrectional hymns, as opposed to the Slavic/Sabaitic practice of "doing everything" (resurrection/feast/saint of the day) in an often confusing and labour intensive manner depending on the ranking of the saint vs the Feast, the only saint's day elevating over this rule, of course would be a saint of vigil ranking.  

Many practices that fell into disuse BEFORE and AFTER Violakis's revisions, i.e. the litanies following the Gospel, the full chanting of the Prokeimena/Alleluia dialogue is making something of a come back amongst certain chanters and choirs, and even written into some rather notable recent chant books.  Supposedly the Typikon of Georgios Rigas corrects  the Sunday Gospel/Psalm 50 issue.  It is also a VERY monastic typikon in most places and would have to be modified in a parish setting.

My two shekels.

This commentary, I think is a little more complete and nuanced, from a recent book published:  The Typikon Decoded -

"Though the Sabaite Typikon remains in use to our day in churches of the Russian Tradition, and in Greek monasteries, a new "parish" typikon appeared in the nineteenth century and has spread through the Greek-speaking world and the Balkans.  It is the work of Constantine, Protopsaltis of the Great Church of Constantinople, (John's note: The author for some reason neglects that this typikon was finalized by George Violakis, Protopsaltis, a successor of Constantineand first apeared in 1838.  This modern typikon is built on a Sabaite base, but for pastoral reasons, it incorporates a number of Studite and asmatic (John's note: the old Cathedral medieval rite practices).  Thus vigils were suppressed (John's note: there is more and more of a trend to buck this).  Consequently, matins is always celebrated in the morning.  The artoklasia can be performed either at the conclusion of vespers or at the end of matins.  The reading of the Matins Gospel can be shifted to after the eighth ode of the canon.  Rubrics for the Feast of the Annunciation have been greatly simplified, often at the cost of arbitrary innovations which are today criticized by liturgical scholars.  In general, it can be said that not all liturgists approve of this reformed typikon."

Another typikon was composed by a priest John (or is it George) Rigas that corrects some of the oddities of the Violakis.  It should be noted that the monastic typikon was in and of itself an innovation, and vastly different from the order of the Great Church in the middle ages.  The Cathedral Parish has had fairly nuanced approach to the Typikon and a history of an order that hybridized the Violakis typikon with the corrections of the Rigas, particularly at Matins.  That said, many of the simplifications of the Violakis work, I find entirely appropriate for parish usage without relying on the undue abbreviations of, case in point, psalmic texts.  To blame the Violakis for the excesses of the Greek church, particularly the modernist, would be an oversimplification.  Case in point, many of our own parishes utilize antiphons at the Liturgy, whereas the actual Violakis Typikon prescribes the Typika (Ps 102, 148) and the Beatitudes with their troparia.

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