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Author Topic: A question about the Iconostases....  (Read 2138 times) Average Rating: 0
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fatman2021
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« on: March 25, 2011, 08:53:24 PM »

Why did the Greek Orthodox Church replace the altar curtains with the iconostasis?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 08:54:44 PM by fatman2021 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 09:26:40 PM »

what exactly do you mean?
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 10:03:00 PM »

what exactly do you mean?

Quote

VIII And how shall the table of the sacrament be positioned, and (what about) the partitions also?
  
The table of expiation is behind the veil, where the Holy Spirit descends; and the font next to it in the same compartment, and out of honor set up on the right hand. And the clergy in there several ranks shall worship (there), the congregation outside the veil, and the catechumens at the door, listening. Lest these partitions be effaced by encroachments, let each remain in his own station irreproachable....This injunction concerning the faith and ordinances of the Church I hand down to you in accordance with your supplications, and we pronounce an anathema on those who are contrary minded.

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« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 10:04:39 PM by fatman2021 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 10:10:04 PM »

Why did the Greek Orthodox Church replace the altar curtains with the iconostasis?

The iconostasis has a curtain (or, at least, is supposed to).  There is no "replacement."
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 10:17:08 PM »


I've been to a few that do not have curtains (see attached photos).
The first is Greek, the second Antiochian.
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2011, 11:21:50 PM »


I've been to a few that do not have curtains (see attached photos).
The first is Greek, the second Antiochian.



What are those long things on the sides that appear to be benches? And why are people sitting on them?
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2011, 11:45:05 PM »


Well...I'm not sure what they are.

I just know that I have this huge blue bruise on my shin from one of them - from 2 weeks ago!
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011, 03:01:53 AM »

What are those long things on the sides that appear to be benches? And why are people sitting on them?

They're stalls. Many churches within monasteries have them, particularly those that have been around for centuries. Quite a few parish churches, ancient and present-day, have them, too.
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2011, 07:27:58 AM »

What are those long things on the sides that appear to be benches? And why are people sitting on them?

They're stalls. Many churches within monasteries have them, particularly those that have been around for centuries. Quite a few parish churches, ancient and present-day, have them, too.
I think he's talking about the pews...

As for the curtain... The iconostasis has a curtain at the Royal Doors (the central doors), in some churches, they don't have a curtain, and I've even seen some churches who have a bigger sliding door serving as a curtain.
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2011, 04:49:33 PM »

Why did the Greek Orthodox Church replace the altar curtains with the iconostasis?

The iconostasis has a curtain (or, at least, is supposed to).  There is no "replacement."

I think he's trying to ask why the Byzantine rite changed from a large curtain spanning the whole entrance to the sanctuary as was found in the Jewish Temple and is still found in the Asian OO churches and the Nestorian church to a format where the iconostasis covers most of the entrance to the sanctuary with a small curtain in the middle.
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2011, 06:01:48 PM »

That 2nd picture is breathtaking, Liza  Kiss
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2011, 06:08:56 PM »


 Wink

Thanks!


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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 09:51:09 AM »


 Wink

Thanks!




Where is the church located? I would like to visit it one day.
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 02:42:54 PM »


They are both in the Detroit, Michigan area.

The top one is a St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Sterling Heights, MI.

The second one is Basilica of St. Mary (Antiochian Orthodox) in Livonia, MI.

This photo is from St. Lazarus Serbian Orthodox, Detroit, MI - where the 3rd Sunday's Lenten Vespers was held.
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2011, 02:30:39 AM »

According to one book I've read on the development and continuity of Orthodox worship, the growth of the iconostasis was gradual. It began as railing to screen the altar that grew to a frame that held the curtain. That led to "doors" By the 4th and 5th centuries areas near the posts were enlarged to receive icons. As more icons were hung more solid area was added to support them until the whole thing had grown into an icon covered partition between the nave and the altar.  By the 15th century in Russia it had become an icon wall.

The rood screen of English churches is the survival of the basic frame stage of the iconostasis. The curtains were removed around the time of the Reformation, I think.

The reason for both the curtain and the iconostasis developed as a response to the presence of those among the people who were either not Christians, still Catecumens, or Baptized but in a penitential status that proscribed communion.  In the very early days the liturgy of the Word and the Divine Liturgy were separated services. Only baptized Christians in good standing were permitted at the liturgy (not a spectator affair). Since the holy things were for the holy and they were only meant to be seen and partaken of by those spiritually ready for communion, the partition protected the holy things from the gaze of the profane and spiritually lax, though the mystery going on within the altar was made present in the icons of the iconostas so that hearts might still ascend via the duller senses of the body through contemplation of the images.
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2011, 11:45:01 AM »

Why did the Greek Orthodox Church replace the altar curtains with the iconostasis?
The iconostasis has a curtain (or, at least, is supposed to).  There is no "replacement."
I think he's trying to ask why the Byzantine rite changed from a large curtain spanning the whole entrance to the sanctuary as was found in the Jewish Temple and is still found in the Asian OO churches and the Nestorian church to a format where the iconostasis covers most of the entrance to the sanctuary with a small curtain in the middle.

I figured, but of course the iconostasis and curtain are two elements with different origins that were merged together, never "replacing" one with the other but rather finding a way to keep both.
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2011, 06:14:48 PM »

there are many things that some orthodox believers have in their brains... and the things are not orthodox-1 of them is the iconostas... not that i have something against icons,God forbid... I dont agree with putting barrier between the priests and people... I would also like to point out that there were priest who actually claimed that God's grace can burn the believers and only priests are aloud to enter the altar... this attitude is known as   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clericalism
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2012, 06:35:39 PM »

Forgive if bumping this topic is offensive, but, I thought it was rather interesting and wondered if someone could point me towards more sources of information, concerning this topic.
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