All-Night Vigil

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This article or section needs expansion to describe a greater degree of liturgical diversity. It may currently represent only one local practice or either the Byzantine/Greek or Russian/Slavic liturgical traditions. You may discuss or edit.


An All Night Vigil (Greek: Agrypnia (which means literally, "without sleeping"; Slavonic: Vsenoshnoe Bdenie) usually consists of Vespers, Orthros, and the First Hour -- though on certain feasts, it consists of Great Compline, Orthros, and the First Hour. In more ancient practice, an All Night Vigil was truly done All-night, and ended with the the Divine Liturgy being celebrated as sunrise -- this is still the practice on Mt. Athos and in some places in Russia and elsewhere. In the parishes, Vigils are less strenuous than those conducted in the monasteries, but the structure remains the same. The Vespers often contains a litia with the blessing of the bread -- this is always the case, on Great Feasts. The differences between the more rigorous practice, and general parish practice are the later contains some abbreviations, and the former is usually chanted to slower melodies, and also includes additional readings that are done at certain places in the service. Also, the less rigorous practice is to stop the vigil after the first hour, and then allow people to get some sleep... and then to resume the Third and Sixth hours the following morning, followed immediately by the liturgy. In the more rigorous practice, the hours continue without such a break.


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