Author Topic: Kneeling  (Read 1047 times)

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Offline Sharbel

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Kneeling
« on: October 22, 2017, 12:31:10 AM »
I was surprised by kneelers at pews and was unaware that the Greek Orthodox knelt during the Epiclesis.  Is this something new, for I noticed that a few remained standing then?
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 12:31:58 AM by Sharbel »
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Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 12:37:35 AM »
I was surprised by kneelers at pews and was unaware that the Greek Orthodox knelt during the Epiclesis.  Is this something new, for I noticed that a few remained standing then?

My GO congregation has been in its present (new) building since the early 1980's.  Pews with kneelers have been there from the beginning.

Many people are confused about when/when not to kneel at the Epiclesis and fail to understand the canonical prohibition on kneeling on Sundays, Paschatide, and Feasts of the Lord.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 01:05:50 AM »
Yeah, I read recently that's it's modernism. The canons do state that we're to stay standing on Sundays.

I know that Greek Catholic parishes have a lot of kneeling.

I saw some kneel before myself.
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Online Justin Kolodziej

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 01:20:22 AM »
Yeah, I read recently that's it's modernism. The canons do state that we're to stay standing on Sundays.

I know that Greek Catholic parishes have a lot of kneeling.

I saw some kneel before myself.
Not the ones I had attended. In fact there was more kneeling at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (epiklesis and Lord's Prayer) I visited once than the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church I attended a few times. I'm sure it varies -- we kneel but the other nearby Greek parish probably doesn't, having chairs and a concrete floor.

I did get an explanation and it was that since almost every liturgy is on Sundays we don't "get to" kneel, so this practice is in response to that. More of an economia. Of course not everyone will accept that, though of course no one has broken communion over it either. (that I know of)
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2017, 06:36:08 AM »
I was surprised by kneelers at pews and was unaware that the Greek Orthodox knelt during the Epiclesis.  Is this something new, for I noticed that a few remained standing then?

My GO congregation has been in its present (new) building since the early 1980's.  Pews with kneelers have been there from the beginning.

Many people are confused about when/when not to kneel at the Epiclesis and fail to understand the canonical prohibition on kneeling on Sundays, Paschatide, and Feasts of the Lord.

Actually, I have read a compelling argument that Canon XX of Nicea doesnt mean what we think kt means, which i shall have to dig up.  Its also worth bearing in mind that the ancient canons are not some sort of Christian Talmud; their interpretation and application is the responsibility of the bishops
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Offline Dominika

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2017, 04:40:24 PM »
I think I saw kneeling on Sunday at some GOARCH's parishes when I visited the USA.
In Poland at many parishes it's pretty common to kneel during the Epiclesis (actually, the previous rector of my parish, let be his memory eternal, sometimes was remind us to do it), it's clear this is a Roman Catholic influence.

Hower, this September I visied Romania, so, various parishes in different parts of the country, for the kneeling, plus sitting on the feet (it's another version of kneeling) or laying head on the ground is the most popualr prayer position. And there are no certain moments to do it, rather if somebody feels he/she needs to do it, just does it. My Romanian friend said that only during the Pentecost period they don't do these various types of kneeling, or, at least, less.
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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2017, 05:02:33 PM »
I visited an ACROD parish.  Congregation knelt and those in the altar prostrated.  I don't know how widespread that is.
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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2017, 05:49:38 PM »
Greeks kneeling during the Epiklesis goes back centuries, to the Venetian period. Venetian rule covered much of mainland Greece and some of the islands, including during the Ottoman period.

OTOH, Greeks from the northern regions rarely, if ever, kneel. Their churches traditionally also tend not to have pews or chairs.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2017, 08:36:48 PM »
Copts do full metanies during the Epiclesis, on Sundays, to the extent permitted by the amount of room in the church.   
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Offline Jonathan

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 06:43:32 PM »
Copts do full metanies during the Epiclesis, on Sundays, to the extent permitted by the amount of room in the church.

Except for the ones who stand and bow the head on Sundays and the holy fifty...

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 06:44:59 PM »
I was surprised by kneelers at pews and was unaware that the Greek Orthodox knelt during the Epiclesis.  Is this something new, for I noticed that a few remained standing then?

My GO congregation has been in its present (new) building since the early 1980's.  Pews with kneelers have been there from the beginning.

Many people are confused about when/when not to kneel at the Epiclesis and fail to understand the canonical prohibition on kneeling on Sundays, Paschatide, and Feasts of the Lord.

Actually, I have read a compelling argument that Canon XX of Nicea doesnt mean what we think kt means, which i shall have to dig up.

Sounds interesting...

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Its also worth bearing in mind that the ancient canons are not some sort of Christian Talmud; their interpretation and application is the responsibility of the bishops

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Offline Stepan

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 10:38:08 PM »
I was surprised by kneelers at pews and was unaware that the Greek Orthodox knelt during the Epiclesis.  Is this something new, for I noticed that a few remained standing then?

We have them in our Antiochian parish but I’ve never used them. I’d personally be ok if we didn’t have pews at all.
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Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 01:07:05 AM »
I was surprised by kneelers at pews and was unaware that the Greek Orthodox knelt during the Epiclesis.  Is this something new, for I noticed that a few remained standing then?

We have them in our Antiochian parish but I’ve never used them. I’d personally be ok if we didn’t have pews at all.

Pews (or chairs) are a substantial investment for furniture which should only be used during the Epistle and Sermon.

Offline Bob2

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2017, 01:32:58 AM »
I was surprised by kneelers at pews and was unaware that the Greek Orthodox knelt during the Epiclesis.  Is this something new, for I noticed that a few remained standing then?

We have them in our Antiochian parish but I’ve never used them. I’d personally be ok if we didn’t have pews at all.

Pews (or chairs) are a substantial investment for furniture which should only be used during the Epistle and Sermon.

Only priests are supposed to sit during the Epistle, there are plenty of times during the Liturgy where it is more appropriate to sit than during the Epistle, litanies for instance.

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2017, 06:26:20 AM »
Greeks kneeling during the Epiklesis goes back centuries, to the Venetian period. Venetian rule covered much of mainland Greece and some of the islands, including during the Ottoman period.

OTOH, Greeks from the northern regions rarely, if ever, kneel. Their churches traditionally also tend not to have pews or chairs.

Then what are people like me who can barely stand for more than a couple of minutes at a time supposed to do, sit on the floor?
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Offline LBK

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2017, 06:45:02 AM »
Then what are people like me who can barely stand for more than a couple of minutes at a time supposed to do, sit on the floor?

If you have been inside a pewless Orthodox church, you'll always find a few chairs or pews at the back and sides of the nave for folks who need to use them. Pregnant women, the infirm, small children, etc. Some churches, especially Greek ones, also have a row of monastic-style stalls on the left and right of the nave.
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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2017, 07:10:43 AM »
I was surprised by kneelers at pews and was unaware that the Greek Orthodox knelt during the Epiclesis.  Is this something new, for I noticed that a few remained standing then?

We have them in our Antiochian parish but I’ve never used them. I’d personally be ok if we didn’t have pews at all.

Pews (or chairs) are a substantial investment for furniture which should only be used during the Epistle and Sermon.

Only priests are supposed to sit during the Epistle, there are plenty of times during the Liturgy where it is more appropriate to sit than during the Epistle, litanies for instance.

What? I always thought the appropriate moments to sit are antiphons, Epistle, sermon. Plus litanies, but to the moment "and witht he most Holy Theotokos".

Then what are people like me who can barely stand for more than a couple of minutes at a time supposed to do, sit on the floor?

If you have been inside a pewless Orthodox church, you'll always find a few chairs or pews at the back and sides of the nave for folks who need to use them. Pregnant women, the infirm, small children, etc. Some churches, especially Greek ones, also have a row of monastic-style stalls on the left and right of the nave.

Exactly. However, if the church has carpets (like my pairsh) you can sit on them. Personally, i love it, I think I do it ancient way (seriously!)>
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2017, 07:20:59 AM »
Then what are people like me who can barely stand for more than a couple of minutes at a time supposed to do, sit on the floor?

If you have been inside a pewless Orthodox church, you'll always find a few chairs or pews at the back and sides of the nave for folks who need to use them. Pregnant women, the infirm, small children, etc. Some churches, especially Greek ones, also have a row of monastic-style stalls on the left and right of the nave.

Oh, ok. I assumed that you meant no chairs of any kind, my apologies. Yeah, the church I've been to has chairs like that.


Exactly. However, if the church has carpets (like my pairsh) you can sit on them. Personally, i love it, I think I do it ancient way (seriously!)>

For a fat guy like me that would get very embarrassing very fast LOL.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2017, 11:13:34 AM »
I was surprised by kneelers at pews and was unaware that the Greek Orthodox knelt during the Epiclesis.  Is this something new, for I noticed that a few remained standing then?

We have them in our Antiochian parish but I’ve never used them. I’d personally be ok if we didn’t have pews at all.

Pews (or chairs) are a substantial investment for furniture which should only be used during the Epistle and Sermon.

Only priests are supposed to sit during the Epistle, there are plenty of times during the Liturgy where it is more appropriate to sit than during the Epistle, litanies for instance.

I realise that there is no single EO practice when it comes to this stuff, but it seems to me you don't sit during the Epistle because the deacon is usually censing at the time.  Since the people are censed, they stand because you're not supposed to sit while being censed.  When the deacon goes into the altar to cense the priests, even they rise from their seats to "receive" that.  But if the censing is timed in such a way that the altar and icons are censed but the people are not censed until Alleluia is intoned (as I've seen done), I suppose you might be able to sit during the Epistle, since there is a precedent for sitting during readings of Scripture.  I don't know that I fully agree with that because the censing is a sacrificial act, and so, like prayer, should be offered standing. 

Because of the principle that prayer should be offered standing, I think it is wrong to say that the litanies are appropriate moments for sitting. 

Obviously, health and other factors* may require individuals to adapt these practices, so I don't see a reason to be rigid about it, but these practices have a theological foundation and so we should be more careful about them. 





*This Sunday I was at a mission parish for Liturgy.  There are no pews, but there are plastic chairs, which the visiting priest's son was naughtily moving all over the place.  When he came to mine, I had to sit in it so he wouldn't move it when I wasn't looking and cause his father to be responsible for my medical bills after I fell on my butt. 

It was during the epiclesis. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Offline RobS

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2017, 11:41:08 AM »
A parishoner once kneeled on a Sunday when the Bishop was present and got lacerated by him for doing so. It was brutal.
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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2017, 11:49:16 AM »
My ACROD parish has pews and kneelers. I don't like it but I'm hardly in a position to be demanding changes. I much prefer the open feeling of pewless churches but these are hard to come by where I live.
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Offline RobS

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2017, 11:53:14 AM »
My problem with pews is they get in the way of doing prostrations. I'm just glad we don't have to kneel like the WR parishes do.
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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2017, 11:54:18 AM »
My problem with pews is they get in the way of doing prostrations.

Yeah, in my parish what ends up happening is that the only people prostrating are the ones at the ends of the pews.
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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2017, 12:32:15 PM »
A parishoner once kneeled on a Sunday when the Bishop was present and got lacerated by him for doing so. It was brutal.
that's why large dioceses are better. Like where you have hundreds of thousands of people under a bishop. Things like that wouldn't happen . The bishop would have better things to pay attention to.
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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2017, 12:46:27 PM »
A parishoner once kneeled on a Sunday when the Bishop was present and got lacerated by him for doing so. It was brutal.

Literally?
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Offline RobS

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2017, 12:48:03 PM »
A parishoner once kneeled on a Sunday when the Bishop was present and got lacerated by him for doing so. It was brutal.

Literally?
Lol it was quite the episode. And yeah it happened in the middle of Liturgy too.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 12:49:34 PM by RobS »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2017, 01:01:41 PM »
A parishoner once kneeled on a Sunday when the Bishop was present and got lacerated by him for doing so. It was brutal.
that's why large dioceses are better. Like where you have hundreds of thousands of people under a bishop. Things like that wouldn't happen . The bishop would have better things to pay attention to.

Nah, bullies gonna bully

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2017, 01:10:00 PM »
A parishoner once kneeled on a Sunday when the Bishop was present and got lacerated by him for doing so. It was brutal.

Literally?
Lol it was quite the episode. And yeah it happened in the middle of Liturgy too.

He actually started hitting the guy? You should start a campaign to get him deposed or something.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2017, 02:13:30 PM »
A parishoner once kneeled on a Sunday when the Bishop was present and got lacerated by him for doing so. It was brutal.

Literally?
Lol it was quite the episode. And yeah it happened in the middle of Liturgy too.

He actually started hitting the guy? You should start a campaign to get him deposed or something.

Oh brother...
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2017, 02:45:52 PM »
LOL
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2017, 03:45:54 PM »
Perhaps that was an overreaction, and I know that kind of low-key corporal punishment is a vaunted tradition in Orthodoxy. It just really bothers me.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2017, 05:26:38 PM »
Perhaps that was an overreaction, and I know that kind of low-key corporal punishment is a vaunted tradition in Orthodoxy. It just really bothers me.

I doubt very much that what you think happened actually happened. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2017, 05:35:31 PM »
He actually flayed the poor slob alive and wore his skin as a vestment for the remainder of the week. There are relevant canons in support of this; I'll quote the relevant passages once I get home and can access my Pedalion.
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Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop
- GK Chesteron, "Lepanto"

Offline William T

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2017, 05:55:30 PM »
My ACROD parish has pews and kneelers. I don't like it but I'm hardly in a position to be demanding changes. I much prefer the open feeling of pewless churches but these are hard to come by where I live.

I've seen about 60/40 favoring the pews.  From my experience in American and Canadian churches, it's the Arabs, Greeks, and Armenians that favor them in America.  Of the four Ukrainian Churches it was 50/50.  The Russian Churches I've been to, I've never seen seats, they also required the most movement with the body I've ever seen.  The one or two Churches I've been to that may have been  convert Churches seemed to follow the Russian model.

On anecdotal foreign things; from what I've seen in Damascus, Beirut, and that area at least some some places seem to have some benches to sit on.  No place in Greece have I seen a picture of benches or pews.

Either way, I prefer standing with chairs on the outside for elderly, pregnant, etc...but I think I feel the same as you.  These people know their Churches better than me, it's not really my job to care and would seem like a really odd thing for me to care about unless I was getting some kind of major feedback.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 05:57:35 PM by William T »

Offline William T

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2017, 06:00:45 PM »

Quote
Exactly. However, if the church has carpets (like my pairsh) you can sit on them. Personally, i love it, I think I do it ancient way (seriously!)>

That's what I'm used to seeing.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 06:08:52 PM by William T »

Offline Hawkeye

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2017, 06:21:47 PM »
The Chapelist Old Believer churches I've been to have carpeted benches built into the full lengths of the walls of both the nave and narthex. That might not be enough for everyone at a service, in which case you sit on the floor, but it's certainly sufficient for anyone that needs it.
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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2017, 06:40:03 PM »
No place in Greece have I seen a picture of benches or pews.

I've not been to Greece, but I've visited Cyprus and it looks in such way:

So, people there rather don't do full prostrations, but a deep bow (I saw it on the feast of the Cross Exaltation).


That's how it looks at my parish. The chairs with back were bought by our quite-new-rector and personally my spiritual father a few weeks ago in Greece; there are two rows more on this side and other two long rows on the left side. In the background youc an see the old benches that are still present next to the walls both left and right while you enter the church); so you see also the carptes that are good for sitting, kneeling and prostrations

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Offline William T

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2017, 06:50:29 PM »
No place in Greece have I seen a picture of benches or pews.

I've not been to Greece, but I've visited Cyprus and it looks in such way:

So, people there rather don't do full prostrations, but a deep bow (I saw it on the feast of the Cross Exaltation).


That's how it looks at my parish. The chairs with back were bought by our quite-new-rector and personally my spiritual father a few weeks ago in Greece; there are two rows more on this side and other two long rows on the left side. In the background youc an see the old benches that are still present next to the walls both left and right while you enter the church); so you see also the carptes that are good for sitting, kneeling and prostrations



No place in Greece have I seen a picture of benches or pews.

I've not been to Greece, but I've visited Cyprus and it looks in such way:

So, people there rather don't do full prostrations, but a deep bow (I saw it on the feast of the Cross Exaltation).


That's how it looks at my parish. The chairs with back were bought by our quite-new-rector and personally my spiritual father a few weeks ago in Greece; there are two rows more on this side and other two long rows on the left side. In the background youc an see the old benches that are still present next to the walls both left and right while you enter the church); so you see also the carptes that are good for sitting, kneeling and prostrations



I haven't been to Greece either, I'm not surprised, I'm just giving the anecdotal things I've heard from family and friends who've visited and the pictures i saw that they took.  I know a few Cypriots, but I never asked them that question.  I do remember both my mother and a couple cousins telling me they had to stand and it was divided by the sexes. For what it's worth, I think most of my family and friends visits to Greece were either Athens or the islands.

I know both models exist in Lebanon and Syria, I just don't know to extant.  I know in my grandparents time it was probably normative.

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Kneeling
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2017, 12:06:17 AM »
I've not been to Greece, but I've visited Cyprus and it looks in such way:

So, people there rather don't do full prostrations, but a deep bow (I saw it on the feast of the Cross Exaltation).
That's pretty much like virtually all the churches I've been to while in Greece.  Except for churches in monasteries, which had just the stalls alongside the walls and sometimes in the middle, parallel to the wall stalls.

However, I didn't see anyone kneeling in the liturgies I attended in Greece, just stateside.
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