Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Services at Holy Cross

Every Friday, more or less, we serve reader's vespers at the Holy Cross Mission in Hattiesburg.  Currently, we are blessed to use the chapel behind Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hattiesburg for our services.

Thanks to the particular history of Christianity, liturgically our day begins with Vespers, so for purposes of the Typikon, Friday evening is actually Saturday, for the evening and the morning were the third day.  Saturday is the day of the week that the church commemorates the departed and the martyrs, and Vespers has a substantial amount of movable texts, so we take our movable texts from the Octoechos for the Holy Martyrs.

The Octoechos is also known as the Book of Eight Tones/Songs.  Each of the modal tones has a unique setting in the Russian rendering, which we use and which I grew up with.  The Tones change in ascending order from week to week, beginning with the Vesperal service on Saturday evening.  However, for convenience, the official Tones of Holy Cross are Tone Four and Tone Five.  These tones are the most melodic and the easiest to sing, and thus favored by choirs everywhere.

Most of our music comes from two sites:




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