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Author Topic: Old Believers - Washing before prayer?  (Read 682 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orthodox11
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« on: March 12, 2011, 04:03:10 PM »

I came across this. Picture 3 shows Old Rite women washing their feet, with the caption: "The Old Believers say that on entering church, people should have clean souls and clean feet."

In ancient times, churches often had basins for pilgrims to wash their hands (and I suppose also their feet since they would take off their shoes) before entering. Does anyone know whether this is still practiced among Old Believers?
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henrikhankhagnell
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 06:13:01 PM »

 Huh
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Orthodox11
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2011, 07:03:10 PM »

Huh

I'll rephrase: Is ablution before prayer part of Old Believer practice?
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copticyouth93
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2011, 03:53:43 PM »

Hmm, being from Egypt, this echoes Islamic practices. I don't believe that this is true Orthodox practice-I believe it is something they picked up later on, and now distinguishes between the true Russian churches. I have been to many ancient Orthodox churches and I didnt find any traces of wash basins or sinks etc. I've only seen this practice in Mosques.

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orthonorm
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2011, 08:14:13 PM »

Hmm, being from Egypt, this echoes Islamic practices. I don't believe that this is true Orthodox practice-I believe it is something they picked up later on, and now distinguishes between the true Russian churches. I have been to many ancient Orthodox churches and I didnt find any traces of wash basins or sinks etc. I've only seen this practice in Mosques.

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Cultic ablution has been a part of Judaism as well.
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Lenexa
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 08:53:22 PM »

The photo caption about "clean souls and clean feet" is simply a saying that reflects the piety of those who make sure to have clean feet or clean shoes, depending on the practice of the parish, when entering the nave of the Church for worship as prostrations are prescribed in the Russian Old Rite even on Sundays and Feastdays. It would be terribly rude to enter the nave with dirty feet or shoes and make the floor of the nave dirty. Old Believers use podruchniki, prayer mats, that are for keeping the Old Rite worshipper's hands and head from actually touching the floor when making a prostration but still reverence and courtesy are called for when coming to worship and that includes having clean feet.
To answer the question about whether ablution immediately preceding prayer/worship is a rule or religious law as it is amongst Muslims? No, it is not like that at all.
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