Festive Liturgy Responses

On Festive days, does the Kirie eleison of the Prayer of Reconcilliation change, or is it the same as normal?  I have heard both practices.


  • It really depends on what the priest says.
  • The original Prayer of Reconciliation in the Gregorian Liturgy ends with the longer ending of Kyrie eleison. But the festive Kyrie eleison (the normal as you call it) is not necessarily associated with the Gregorian Liturgy since we use the same festive tune for the Kyrie eleison of the all 3 liturgies. 

    The confusion lies in two facts. 1. The Gregorian Liturgy has traditionally been reserved for festive/Lord feasts (although this seems to be a newer tradition during Pope Shenouda's tenure) 2. The festive kyrie eleison sounds like a short version of the Gregorian Kyrie eleison so people consider them both festive. (The similarity of both responses is mere coincidence.) Given these two facts, deacons and churches choose to use only the festive Kyrie eleison for the Gregorian Prayer of Reconciliation to keep things simple. 

    Keep in mind many of the priest parts of the Gregorian liturgy don't end with the common festive ending. They are supposed to end with an ending that sounds annual/"year round" and the response is supposed to be the longer kyrie eleison tune. So the longer kyrie eleison tune that belongs to the Gregorian Liturgy is not supposed to be associated with the Lord's feasts or festive seasons. But most priests choose to end their parts with the common festive tune which makes the common festive kyrie eleison more logical. 

    Sorry for the rant. I hoped it helped.

  • Sorry Rem, I'm a little confused, I was talking about the Liturgy of St Basil.
  • As far as I know, the liturgy of St Basil uses the annual ending, not the festive. My understanding is that the common festive ending is used from Vespers to Midnight Tasbeha to Matins to the Liturgy of the Word/Catechumens. It is not used for the liturgy of faithful. However, some priests add the festive ending to the Prayer of Reconciliation for simplicity.

    As for the Liturgy of St Gregory, it's annual ending of priests parts requires a long (or longer) response that starts and sounds like the festive kyrie eleison. (It is the same response of Kyrie eleison used in Matins of weekday Great Lent and before Entho te tishore in weekday Great Lent liturgy. It is also the same ending of the annual Litany of Oblation after the deacon says Tobh even nietvi. 

    The whole point I was making is that people associate this longer kyrie eleison as a festive response, but it's not. People also associate the Liturgy of St Gregory for Lord's festive feasts but it's really just coincidental. And to add to the confusion, priests choose not to end in the Prayer of Reconciliation of St Gregory in the annual response but rather the common festive response. 

    I hoped this clarified things.
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