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Author Topic: The Opening and Closing Of The Holy Doors and Curtain  (Read 2217 times) Average Rating: 0
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Seekingthetruth
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« on: October 12, 2007, 06:36:47 PM »

Is there really even a standard practice of when to open and close the Holy Doors and Curtain in America anymore? Of the 3 Orthodox churches in my town, 1 leaves the Holy Doors open from Orthros to the End of Liturgy and is curtain less. This Parish is GOA. 1 Opens the Curtain at the "Blessed Be The Kingdom" and leaves it open until the Great Entrance, then it's again opened at the exclamation "The doors, the doors!", then it's closed when the Priest says "Holy Things...." and then opened after communion and stays that way until the end of the liturgy. This parish is OCA. The last parish, which is also OCA, opens the Holy Curtains and Doors at the "Blessed Be The Kingdom" and leaves them open until the Litany of The Catechumens, where the Holy Doors and Curtain are closed. They are opened for good when the priest exclaims "the doors....". So here, I have three parishes, 2 of which belong to the same jurisdiction, that follow different practices. What's done at your Church?
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2007, 06:48:33 PM »

You'll find quite a few GOA parishes without curtains, probably because when those folks came over here they didn't have curtains in the churches that they rented.

There hasn't been a standardized practice in the GOA partially for that reason, partially because the "upper-management" (synod, clergy at the archdiocese, etc) weren't as worried about that practice as they were about other things - I haven't seen documents even mentioning it (but then again, I haven't read the Priest's Manual that Archbishop Iakovos promulgated in the Archdiocese).
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authio
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2007, 06:50:36 PM »

The doors have meaning for their opening and closing....would you break your post down - perhaps we could talk about a particular parish and discover its meaning together?
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2007, 07:37:49 PM »

Here is a good article from the OCA perspective (or at least Bishop Tikhon's):
http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.doors.html

and another one from Bishop Tikhon:
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/liturgics/tikhon_holy_doors.htm

On the OCA website:
http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=100&SID=3

Here is a general article about the Iconostasis (that also covers the curtain)... It doesn't speak of when to open and close, but it is helpful:
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/liturgics/buben_ikonostasis.htm
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2007, 10:17:07 PM »

Is there really even a standard practice of when to open and close the Holy Doors and Curtain in America anymore?

If you mean: Does everyone DO the same thing? No.

If you mean: Are there clear instructions in the Typika of the Great Church and Jerusalem? Yes.

His Grace Bishop Tikhon describes everything fairly well here:

Quote
It is not for me, one diocesan bishop, to direct that the Typikon not be followed in any respect, save for specific occasions of economy, i.e., to save a soul. Nor am I aware, nor have I been made aware, of any instructions by the Holy Synod of which I am a member that bless any deviation from this or any other provision of the "Holy Typikon, that is to say, the Format of the Churchly Services in the holy Jerusalem Lavra of our venerable and God-bearing Father Sabbas."(5) This is not to say that I have not observed a more or less wide deviation from the provisions of this Typikon as it pertains to Holy Doors and Curtains in parishes of our Orthodox Church in America, in parishes of the Greek Archdiocese, and of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Usually, of course, the priests practicing such deviations have a more or less reasonable explanation for their actions, including the claim that this or that bishop has commanded or advised or blessed their custom. It seems to me I am bound to accept the word of an Orthodox Priest on such a matter, with no evidence to the contrary. Then there are specific rationales. These are much harder to accept and, generally, I do not do so, save in two specific cases that I will develop below.

http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.doors.html
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2007, 03:57:07 AM »

The Antiochian Liturgicon also lists variations in traditions of various national churches in these practices that are interesting to look at.  Orthodox Practice is not and apparrently has never been identical in all the Orthodox churches.

Thomas

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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2007, 06:21:21 PM »

We don't have a curtain at our church (nor do the other three GOA parishes in Maine, to my knowledge). Also, the door is only closed during the Resurrection Service when the church is darkened.

There's a more traditional church about a half hour away, and once, when the priest shut the doors after the Great Entrance, his son yelled, "Papa, papa, open the doors!"
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2007, 06:59:48 PM »

My GOAA parish has both curtain and doors (half-doors to be exact) and both are used in DL - perhaps my priest/monk is particular or maybe shows that he served many years in the OCA.
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2007, 12:22:00 AM »

The priest at the OCA parish I attend closes the doors and draws the curtain when we recite the communion prayer, while he is preparing communion. The priest then reopens them when he's ready to distribute communion.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2007, 12:26:39 AM by stosh » Logged
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