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Question 43.
Dear Fr. Christopher,

I was curious if you had any idea why the Kypria (Cypriot) Menaia differs so radically from the Church of Greece Menaia for the feastday of Saint Luke the Apostle (Oct. 18)? It is interesting to me that I have not been able to find any other phylada (pamphlet) that shows a Liti for that feast, except in the Kypria Menaia. In addition they have an alternate Apolytikion that I have not seen elsewhere.
Strangely enough, at my parish, they were using a completely different Apolytikion for St. Luke, which I have since learned comes from Slavic texts. This has caused certain problems, since that particular Apolytikion does not have a Greek version!

Thank you for your thoughts,
in Christ,
Fr. M.



Answer to Question 43.

Dear Fr.M,


The Kypria Menaia were specially written for the many Cypriot saints whom the majority are not even mentioned in the General Menaia. Together with the Cypriot saints were added many other saints who although not Cypriot had some connection with Cyprus or passed through Cyprus. To these were also added saints who are highly revered in Cyprus - St. Luke being one of them. The services differ from the usual Menaia because all the services in the Cypriot Menaia have been adapted to include a full and complete service. Some hymns were left as they are found in the General Menaia and others were rewritten especially for the Kypria Menaia. The monastery of Kykkos is now writing new Menaia for the many saints whose relics are found at the monastery. So far they have printed September, October, November, December and January. In the October volume of the Kykkos Menaia there is a new service for St. Luke because tradition says that the famous Icon of the Mother of God Eleousa found at the monastery was painted by St. Luke. Many Saints in the General Menaia have only the common Apolytikion for their rank, but nowadays you will find in the newer editions of the Great Orologion new hymns for all those saints that didn't have a special hymn of their own. Even though there are now many saints with a complete service, it doesn’t mean that we are obliged to use that service on their feast days. In general, complete services (panegyriko) are sung by churches which have been dedicated to that particular saint or for saints that are highly revered within a parish. During weekdays one can often leave out the prophetic readings at vespers and the morning Gospel at matins if pressed for time.

With love in Christ
Fr. Christopher