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Author Topic: Blessing with the trikeri & dikeri  (Read 1368 times) Average Rating: 0
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Theophilos78
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« on: February 09, 2011, 05:10:07 AM »

In Orthodoxy if the Divine Liturgy is celebrated (not presided) by a bishop, the people are blessed with the trikeri (bunch of three candles) and dikeri (bunch of two candles) three times right after the Trisagion hymn (Holy God......).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u18qUIwh0Ss&feature=related

I have a few questions regarding the origin of this practice.

1) Was this blessing with candles a part of St John's rite or introduced to the liturgy later?

2) When was this blessing introduced into the liturgy? Before or after the Council of Chalcedonia?

3) Is this practice affiliated with the use of candles in Judaism or the Old Testament (menorah or Hanukkah)?

4) Who decided that the blessing must be added into the divine liturgy right after the Trisagion hymn?

5) While blessing the community, the bishop recites some verses of the Psalm the first line of which reads: "O shepherd of Israel, pay attention, you who lead Joseph like a flock of sheep". Why was this particular Psalm selected?

Thanks for the answers.

Peace,

Theophilos


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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 09:29:57 AM »

Quote
5) While blessing the community, the bishop recites some verses of the Psalm the first line of which reads: "O shepherd of Israel, pay attention, you who lead Joseph like a flock of sheep". Why was this particular Psalm selected?

Umm, that's not what a bishop chants at the blessing. It's Lord, Lord, look down from heaven, and behold  the vineyard which Your right hand has planted. That passage paraphrases psalm 79:15-16 (LXX numbering).
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 09:30:29 AM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 11:30:45 AM »

The blessing with trikeri and dikeri takes place at a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy (where a hierarch is both President and Chief Celebrant).  It takes place during the chanting of the Trisagion within the Bema by the assembled clergy (which, itself, takes place during an expanded Trisagion)).  It is done three times, once to the west, once to the south, and once to the north, and while the hierarch is blessing, he chants, "Lord, Lord, look down from Heaven and visit this vineyard, which Your right hand has planted."  This verse is normally chanted at least once in Greek.

The trikeri and dikeri are candelabra, the trikeri holds three candles (for the Holy Trinity), and the dikeri holds two (for the Two Natures of Christ).
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 11:36:56 AM by Cymbyz » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 12:11:01 PM »

The blessing with trikeri and dikeri takes place at a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy (where a hierarch is both President and Chief Celebrant).  It takes place during the chanting of the Trisagion within the Bema by the assembled clergy (which, itself, takes place during an expanded Trisagion)).  It is done three times, once to the west, once to the south, and once to the north, and while the hierarch is blessing, he chants, "Lord, Lord, look down from Heaven and visit this vineyard, which Your right hand has planted."  This verse is normally chanted at least once in Greek.

The trikeri and dikeri are candelabra, the trikeri holds three candles (for the Holy Trinity), and the dikeri holds two (for the Two Natures of Christ).

And/or Church Slavonic as the case may be. Our bishops in ACROD dating back to my childhood during the expanded Trisagion have always also taken the Bishop's portion of the Trisagion in the Greek - Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, blessing with the trikeri and dikeri.
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Theophilos78
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 02:57:17 PM »

My special thanks to all people who have responded to my opening post. However, all my questions are still unanswered.  Sad
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 03:29:20 PM »

My special thanks to all people who have responded to my opening post. However, all my questions are still unanswered.  Sad

A partial answer, from Fr. Thomas Hopko:
 
http://www.gocstanna.org/clergy_orthodox_vestments.php

In relation to the bishop's service in the Orthodox Church, the use of two special candelabra with which the bishop blesses the faithful also developed. One of these candelabra holds three candles (trikeri) (at right) while the other holds two candles (dikeri) (at left). These candelabra stand for the two fundamental mysteries of the Orthodox faith: that the Godhead is three Divine Persons; and that Jesus Christ, the Saviour, has two natures, being both perfect God and perfect man.

and another: This  article is quoted on numerous sites, this is the first one on google... http://www.antiochianarch.org.au/Candles.aspx

Since ancient times, at hierarchical services special candle-holders have been used. The faithful reverently bow their heads when blessed by the Bishop with the dikeri, representing the two natures of Christ His Divinity and His humanity, and the trikeri, representing the Holy Trinity. Candles are also lit during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Beyond that, perhaps a member of the clergy or graduate of a theological program could offer more information.
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2011, 01:11:43 AM »

I've seen the candle blessing you are talking about done by a bishop at an OCA parish.  It is very impressive.  I don't think it predates Chalcedon, though, as I've never seen it done, or heard of anything like it done, in any of the OO Churches.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 01:33:19 AM by Salpy » Logged

Theophilos78
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 03:59:27 AM »


A partial answer, from Fr. Thomas Hopko:
 
http://www.gocstanna.org/clergy_orthodox_vestments.php

In relation to the bishop's service in the Orthodox Church, the use of two special candelabra with which the bishop blesses the faithful also developed. One of these candelabra holds three candles (trikeri) (at right) while the other holds two candles (dikeri) (at left). These candelabra stand for the two fundamental mysteries of the Orthodox faith: that the Godhead is three Divine Persons; and that Jesus Christ, the Saviour, has two natures, being both perfect God and perfect man.

and another: This  article is quoted on numerous sites, this is the first one on google... http://www.antiochianarch.org.au/Candles.aspx

Since ancient times, at hierarchical services special candle-holders have been used. The faithful reverently bow their heads when blessed by the Bishop with the dikeri, representing the two natures of Christ His Divinity and His humanity, and the trikeri, representing the Holy Trinity. Candles are also lit during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Beyond that, perhaps a member of the clergy or graduate of a theological program could offer more information.

Thanks. It is not unreasonable to conclude that the practice of blessing with the trikeri and dikeri was inserted into the Divine Liturgy right after the Trisagion hymn because it was directly associated with the Trinitarian doctrine.

As you said, for detailed information on the historical development of this blessing I must consult a priest or theologian.

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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2011, 04:06:08 AM »

I've seen the candle blessing you are talking about done by a bishop at an OCA parish.  It is very impressive.  I don't think it predates Chalcedon, though, as I've never seen it done, or heard of anything like it done, in any of the OO Churches.

You are right. It may be a part of the Byzantine tradition, which took its current shape in the post-Chalcedonian era. The use of two bunches of candles (Trikeri and dikeri), particularly that of the dikeri as a symbol of Jesus' two natures, most likely pertains to the condemnation of monophysitism in the Council of 451 A.D.

The rule that only a Bishop celebrating the liturgy can give this special blessing may be affiliated with the teaching that the Orthodox doctrine concerning Jesus' two natures is of apostolic origin. (I am only guessing now with the help of the teaching that bishops represent apostles)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 04:11:39 AM by Theophilos78 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2011, 06:23:06 PM »

Quote
1) Was this blessing with candles a part of St John's rite or introduced to the liturgy later?

Almost certainly much, much later.  The first evidence of such things dates from some centuries after the death of St John.

Quote
2) When was this blessing introduced into the liturgy? Before or after the Council of Chalcedonia?

Likely after, and the particular ceremonial that we have today later still.

Quote
3) Is this practice affiliated with the use of candles in Judaism or the Old Testament (menorah or Hanukkah)?

I have no idea.  Mother Vassa links them to the Byzantine imperial ceremoinies rather than Jewish liturgical custom.

Quote
4) Who decided that the blessing must be added into the divine liturgy right after the Trisagion hymn?

As has been pointed out above, the blessing is performed during, not after, the Trisagion.  The blessing with the trikiridikiri is also performed after the vesting, at the Lesser Entrance, after the Gospel, the Great Entrance, ordinations, the Communion of the people, and the Dismissal.  Who decided on these points I do not know.  It is likely the result of the development of the Liturgy over the ages.

Quote
5) While blessing the community, the bishop recites some verses of the Psalm the first line of which reads: "O shepherd of Israel, pay attention, you who lead Joseph like a flock of sheep". Why was this particular Psalm selected?

As noted above, the verse quoted is not what is said at this time, but rather, 'Lord, lord, look down from heaven and behold, and visit this vineyard, and perfect that which thy right hand hath planted.'  The bishop usually says this while looking up to the icon of the Saviour in the ceiling of the church.

You may find this useful.

M
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2011, 06:40:20 PM »

I read somewhere that this rite used to be done by the emperor; only after the fall of C-ple , it started to be done by the patriarch or other bishops.
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Theophilos78
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2011, 09:39:14 AM »

Thanks for your answers. In particular, the article was very informative.
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