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Author Topic: Prayers on entering and leaving the home  (Read 6672 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 11, 2009, 05:37:32 PM »

Can someone remind me what are the traditional prayers in the Byzantine rite for entering and leaving the home?

I'd also be interested if there is such a tradition in other rites.
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 06:58:00 PM »


I don't know if this is true "Tradition", however, my mother always makes the Sign of the Cross over herself upon leaving the house, she then turns towards the house, and makes the Sign of the Cross over the door (that the Lord should keep our home safe in our absence).  She then turns in the direction we are heading and makes the Sign of the Cross ahead (asking the Lord to bless our journey).

When we re-enter the house, once again, we make the Sign of the Cross over ourselves, mostly in gratitude that our journey went well, and we are safely back home.



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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 07:05:28 PM »

What a wonderful tradition. Is there any way of finding out whether or not this is a Church tradition or simply a pious tradition? I'd be interested in knowing. Meanwhile, I think I'm going to try and adopt this myself as it strikes me as being spiritually edifying and beneficial. Thanks for sharing this.  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 07:07:26 PM »

btw... a quick related question. When making the sign of the cross in the air (as opposed to over yourself), do you go from left to right or right to left? I've noticed the priest makes it from left to right so as to appear to us as right to left.
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2009, 07:30:00 PM »


Go "backwards"....so it hits the "onlooker" correctly.  From left to right...
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2009, 07:43:52 PM »

Am I thinking of the Entrance Bows?
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2009, 10:56:20 PM »

What a wonderful tradition. Is there any way of finding out whether or not this is a Church tradition or simply a pious tradition? I'd be interested in knowing. Meanwhile, I think I'm going to try and adopt this myself as it strikes me as being spiritually edifying and beneficial. Thanks for sharing this.  Smiley

It's very common as far as I remember in Egypt, and I've always done it.  My sons notice the Crosses on the door from Great and Holy Friday's past.

Tertullian writes at the turn of the third century "In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting off our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupies us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the Cross."  Cyril of Jerusalem echoed this in the next century: "Let us not be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Let the cross, as our seal, be boldly made with our fingers upon our brow and on all occasions over the bread we eat, over the cups we drink, in our comings and in our goings, before sleep, on lying down and rising up, when we are on the way and when we are still."

The Biblical basis is Deuteronomy 6:7.
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2009, 11:37:20 PM »


Tertullian writes at the turn of the third century "In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting off our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupies us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the Cross."  Cyril of Jerusalem echoed this in the next century: "Let us not be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Let the cross, as our seal, be boldly made with our fingers upon our brow and on all occasions over the bread we eat, over the cups we drink, in our comings and in our goings, before sleep, on lying down and rising up, when we are on the way and when we are still."

The Biblical basis is Deuteronomy 6:7.

Thank you for that quote, ialmisry. I had read that many years ago but embarrassingly forgotten it. I do (when I remember) make the sign of the cross when I get into the car, before eating a meal and always during our prayers but these other moments I'm afraid I've been negligent. It may be more an indication that Orthodoxy was not part of the fabric of who I am, having converted some eighteen years ago rather than growing up in the faith. I'll need to work at this.

So... do you (the rest of you) make this sign upon entering and leaving your houses? Do you make it when rising as well as when going to sleep?

And what is meant by making it on our brow as opposed to upon our chest as we generally do?
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2009, 11:56:14 PM »


I don't know if this is true "Tradition", however, my mother always makes the Sign of the Cross over herself upon leaving the house, she then turns towards the house, and makes the Sign of the Cross over the door (that the Lord should keep our home safe in our absence).  She then turns in the direction we are heading and makes the Sign of the Cross ahead (asking the Lord to bless our journey).

When we re-enter the house, once again, we make the Sign of the Cross over ourselves, mostly in gratitude that our journey went well, and we are safely back home.






Very Very nice tradition,I may put it into practice Myself.....
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2009, 11:45:26 AM »

I read somewhere that in Eastern Slavic countries, it also used to be a tradition to quickly say, or whisper, "The Mother of God, rejoice, Mary, full of grace..." when you leave your home, and to cross the air in front of you (from left to right) so that your path for the day will be blessed.

I also cross myself and say, "Lord, have mercy" when I turn the ignition key in my car in the morning, when leaving home for work.
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2009, 12:04:55 PM »

That brings something to mind. My godfather is a Ukrainian priest. In the doorway to his manse are a number of small "burned" cross markings. Is this part of the tradition as well? He has since moved and I never really thought to ask him their significance before this thread.
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2009, 12:24:30 PM »

It's done with a candle blessed on Meeting of Our Lord day right after coming back from the Church. It is a kind of blessing the house.

You burn inhabitans' hair on had 4 times (edges of the Cross) also.
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2009, 01:10:52 PM »


That brings something to mind. My godfather is a Ukrainian priest. In the doorway to his manse are a number of small "burned" cross markings. Is this part of the tradition as well? He has since moved and I never really thought to ask him their significance before this thread.

Our "Ukrainian" tradition, is to bring home the lit candle from Holy Thursday.  We hold the candle during the reading of the 12 Gospels, and then carefully transport the living flame home with us.  Once home, we then stop at each door to the house and reaching up, make a sign of the Cross.  The "smoke" from the candle will leave the "black Cross" on the ceiling.  However, we have marked the door, and anyone entering it must walk beneath the Cross.  We then go to each entrance of the house and do the same.  It may "look" odd to others, but, I wouldn't have it any other way! 


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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2009, 01:12:16 PM »

We bring home candles from Great Thursday also but these markings are made with hromnicia candles only.
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2009, 01:21:06 PM »



hromnicia candles???
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2009, 01:23:45 PM »

Candles blessed on Presentation. According to folk tradition they are light on several times:
- during storms so that thunders won't strike the house/stables/the other one building
- when a family member passes away

They are also put into a coffin when one dies.
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2009, 01:30:42 PM »


YES, we do that too!

I have a number of them "stockpiled"!

It's actually rather comforting to see that candle flickering amidst all the thundering noise outside. 
As a child it gave me "courage".
My mother would always light it in front of our icon, say a prayer and then tell us not to worry, everything would be fine.

We would fall asleep to the flickering light...and not be so scared of all the noise.

Aren't traditions great?!?


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« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2009, 01:38:06 PM »

A lot of people also put icons made of wood, or even ceramic, or just something nice that say "God Bless this House!"  But usually it's in a language other than english. 

I've also seen a lot of people put little banners made of yarn or something with the Lord's Prayer over their doors, so that they say the Lord's prayer when they leave or enter. 

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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2009, 01:50:37 PM »


That brings something to mind. My godfather is a Ukrainian priest. In the doorway to his manse are a number of small "burned" cross markings. Is this part of the tradition as well? He has since moved and I never really thought to ask him their significance before this thread.

Our "Ukrainian" tradition, is to bring home the lit candle from Holy Thursday.  We hold the candle during the reading of the 12 Gospels, and then carefully transport the living flame home with us.  Once home, we then stop at each door to the house and reaching up, make a sign of the Cross.  The "smoke" from the candle will leave the "black Cross" on the ceiling.  However, we have marked the door, and anyone entering it must walk beneath the Cross.  We then go to each entrance of the house and do the same.  It may "look" odd to others, but, I wouldn't have it any other way! 




that is what we do too.  The reason is the blood of the Lamb of the Passover put on the doorposts.  My sons point it out when we see the Ten Commandmenst, when Joshua is marking the door of the governor's house.  When I had a gas stove, we relit the pilot with the candle.

In Egypt people put a Cross over the door like the Jews the mezuzah, and for similar reason (like the Deuteronomy quote above).  Someone I know (in a story I've posted here somewhere) who was a missionary in Sudan had a person who came in for a Bible just because in his isolated Muslim village, they continued, after Islam was imposed, to put Crosses on their doors and made the sign of the Cross on the foreheads of their new born.  When he came to Khartoum, and saw a Cross, he was told it was the Christians' symbol, so we came to get the Christians' book. These dead bone can live.
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« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2009, 03:02:25 PM »


Tertullian writes at the turn of the third century "In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting off our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupies us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the Cross."  Cyril of Jerusalem echoed this in the next century: "Let us not be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Let the cross, as our seal, be boldly made with our fingers upon our brow and on all occasions over the bread we eat, over the cups we drink, in our comings and in our goings, before sleep, on lying down and rising up, when we are on the way and when we are still."

The Biblical basis is Deuteronomy 6:7.

Thank you for that quote, ialmisry. I had read that many years ago but embarrassingly forgotten it. I do (when I remember) make the sign of the cross when I get into the car, before eating a meal and always during our prayers but these other moments I'm afraid I've been negligent. It may be more an indication that Orthodoxy was not part of the fabric of who I am, having converted some eighteen years ago rather than growing up in the faith. I'll need to work at this.

So... do you (the rest of you) make this sign upon entering and leaving your houses? Do you make it when rising as well as when going to sleep?

And what is meant by making it on our brow as opposed to upon our chest as we generally do?

I was under the impression that the sign of the cross was originally made with the thumb on the forehead only. It seems to have evolved into a larger gesture, covering more of the body. I'd like to know when the change occured etc.
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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2009, 04:01:02 PM »

I actually just found what I was looking for. It's called the Entrance & Departure Bows. It's in the Erie, PA Old Orthodox Prayer Book. I'll post it:

God be merciful to me a sinner. *bow* Thou hast created me; Lord have mercy on me. *bow* I have sinned immeasurably; Lord forgive me. *bow*

It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, the ever-blessed and most immaculate, and the Mother of our God. More honourable than the cherubim and truly more glorious than the seraphim; thee who without defilement gavest birth to God the Word, the true Mother of God, thee do we magnify. *prostration*

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. *bow* Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. *bow* Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. *bow*

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, through the prayers of Thy most pure Mother, by the power of the precious and life-giving Cross, through the prayer of my holy Guardian Angel, and of all the saints, have mercy on me and save me a sinner, for Thou art good and lovest mankind. *prostration*
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« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2009, 04:40:31 PM »

I have a holy water font by my front door to bless myself upon leaving  angel
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2009, 04:58:37 PM »

Growing up, before leaving the house, we always stood in front of the icon corner, blessed ourselves, and prayed the prayer "Virgin Mother of God, Rejoice..."  A tradition we maintain in our house to this day.  In addition, as children, when we would leave for school, my mother would make the sign of the cross over our heads before we walked out the door.  When "tucking" us in at night before bed, my father would again make the sign of the cross over us.

We also bring home the lit candle held during the reading of the 12 Gospels (Strasti) and mark the door lintels with the Sign of the Cross.  Growing up, my father would also blow out the pilot light in the oven and re-light it with the lit candle.  (We don't do that in our house now since we have an electric pilot.)

We light the Hromnitsa (the candle blessed on the Feast of the Presentation) during thunderstorms and when someone in the family dies.  A cute story concerning the lighting of the Hromnitsa during thunderstorms in my house, when it starts to thunder, the dog immediately runs to the icon corner and waits there until someone comes, takes the Gromnitsa down, and lights it.
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« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2009, 10:16:20 PM »

I LOVE these stories and traditions. Thanks for sharing them and please continue.  Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2009, 11:43:34 AM »

The only tradition I remember was my father always entering with Slava isusu Christu and then one of the other party members usually me would respond with Slava na Viki (yes, my slavic spelling isn't what it could be, but phonetically my writing is correct!)  Grin

-Nick
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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2009, 11:48:11 AM »

The only tradition I remember was my father always entering with Slava isusu Christu and then one of the other party members usually me would respond with Slava na Viki (yes, my slavic spelling isn't what it could be, but phonetically my writing is correct!)  Grin

-Nick

What is the translation, Nick?
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« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2009, 12:04:01 PM »



Slava Icycy Christu = Glory to Jesus Christ!

Slava na Viki = Glory forever!


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« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2009, 01:31:27 PM »

Slava Isusu Hristu Vo Veku Vekova Amin...
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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2009, 05:30:13 PM »

The only tradition I remember was my father always entering with Slava Isusu Christu and then one of the other party members usually me would respond with Slava na Viki (yes, my slavic spelling isn't what it could be, but phonetically my writing is correct!)  Grin

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Catholic Greeting AAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2009, 09:35:29 AM »

The only tradition I remember was my father always entering with Slava Isusu Christu and then one of the other party members usually me would respond with Slava na Viki (yes, my slavic spelling isn't what it could be, but phonetically my writing is correct!)  Grin

-Nick

Catholic Greeting AAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

huh? Where do you come up with Catholic Greeting?

-Nick
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« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2009, 05:13:43 PM »

I was told that that greeting (the translation of Laudetur Jesus Christus!) is a post-Brest inheritance.
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« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2009, 05:32:34 PM »


I can only hope that is not an exclusively "Catholic" saying, as we say it all the time.

I think it's a rather nice way to greet someone.  Much more moving than a mere "hello".

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« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2009, 06:59:14 PM »

In Serbia we say "Помаже Бог!, Бог помогао!"  (Pomaze Bog, Bog Pomogao) when we great people.  (May God help you!, God Helps!) 

I was always a personal fan of that one. 
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ChristusDominus
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Saint Aloysius Gonzaga


« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2009, 08:08:09 PM »


I can only hope that is not an exclusively "Catholic" saying, as we say it all the time.

I think it's a rather nice way to greet someone.  Much more moving than a mere "hello".


It's a traditional Catholic greeting meaning: "Praised Jesus Christ" (Laudetur Jesus Christus).

The traditional response would be: "In sæcula! Amen" (forever amen)

Some religious communities respond with: "Et Maria Immaculata" ("And Mary Immaculate").
« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 08:08:41 PM by ChristusDominus » Logged

There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
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« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2009, 08:38:29 PM »


I was told that that greeting (the translation of Laudetur Jesus Christus!) is a post-Brest inheritance.

I think those of Rusyn heritage who convert back to Orthodoxy frequently continue to use it. It's the most common greeting at my OCA mission, actually.
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ChristusDominus
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« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2009, 09:07:06 PM »

It's Latin! sheesh
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There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
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