Author Topic: Pews again? I hope not.  (Read 11378 times)

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Offline mike

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Pews again? I hope not.
« on: March 26, 2011, 07:29:43 AM »
What are the moments of the DL when all the faithful sit on the pews?

No, I don't want to start a debate whether it's right or not.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 08:18:51 AM by Michał Kalina »
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 08:29:22 AM »
Traditionally, the only times the faithful are supposed to sit are the Epistle reading and the sermon. I think all other times vary considerably from parish to parish and person to person. In the churches I often attend, people seem to sit mostly during the longer litanies and during the Communion of the clergy when the doors of the iconostasis are shut.

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 08:32:02 AM »
And they stand during the rest?

It seems to be very uncomfortable to stand in the small space between that pews.
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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 08:34:43 AM »
And they stand during the rest?

It seems to be very uncomfortable to stand in the small space between that pews.

Not necessarily uncomfortable- at least in my parish the pews are spaced widely enough- but still confining and I hate pews.
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 08:39:44 AM »
During Litanies also in my experience.
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Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 09:46:58 AM »
In my parish we sit during the first antiphon, most of the litanies, the Epistle reading, and the sermon. We kneel during the Anaphora, the Lord's prayer, and while the celebrant's are receiving communion. The rest of the time we stand.
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Offline bogdan

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 09:58:55 AM »
At my parish we sit for:
- Great Litany and Antiphons (only if Liturgy is preceded by Matins; if not we stand, since it's silly to stand for 3 seconds and sit again)
- Epistle
- Sermon
- Litany after the Cherubic Hymn
- Hymn to the Theotokos (while the offering is taken)

And we kneel during the Epiklesis on weekdays.

During Matins and Vespers we stand except for the Kathisma and Old Testament readings. This is because the people who prefer to sit tend to only attend Liturgy.

The issues with pews become apparent during Lent, when everyone scrambles to the aisles when they hear "O Lord and Master..."
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 10:01:24 AM by bogdan »

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2011, 05:26:07 AM »
At my parish we sit for:
- Great Litany and Antiphons (only if Liturgy is preceded by Matins; if not we stand, since it's silly to stand for 3 seconds and sit again)
- Epistle
- Sermon
- Litany after the Cherubic Hymn
- Hymn to the Theotokos (while the offering is taken)

And we kneel during the Epiklesis on weekdays.

During Matins and Vespers we stand except for the Kathisma and Old Testament readings. This is because the people who prefer to sit tend to only attend Liturgy.

The issues with pews become apparent during Lent, when everyone scrambles to the aisles when they hear "O Lord and Master..."

It is I suppose a matter of personal preference but mine is for the Russian tradition of standing for everything except if you are old or unwell in which case there are benches on a couple of walls.  Pews limit you - sit in the middle and you are trapped.  If I want to light a candle or venerate an icon or make a late confession I can't if I am trapped in a pew.  Once everyone stood in all Orthodox churches.  Why can't we go back to that?

Pews often seem to go hand in hand with electric candles, the Beautiful gate or Royal Doors left open for the whole liturgy etc.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 05:27:42 AM by SubdeaconDavid »
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Offline Melodist

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2011, 08:15:37 AM »
We sit from the beginning of the sermon to the beginning of the cherubic hymn. Thats the only time we sit except for medical/age/children reasons. I used to sit down during Communion before being received into the Church becasue I was not communing.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2011, 08:56:11 AM »
Similar to Reply No. 3, this is what my parish does on Sunday's, which I've noticed as pretty common in the GOAA,

During the Great Litany, right after "Blessed is the Kingdom..."; remaining seated until the Small Entrance commences; then standing until the Epistle Reading, and rising again for the Gospel, "Wisdom, let us rise..."

Seated again after "Let is complete our prayer..."  Rising to receive "Peace be with you."

Kneeling at "These Gifts, your own Gifts...," raising at "Especially, for our Most Holy...", but sitting for a few minutes beginning with "Remembering all the saints...," rising for the Lord's Prayer recitation, "And render us worthy Master..."

Remaining standing through the balance of the Liturgy, when the tray is passed.  (Some who are older, will sit during the serving of Holy Communion.)
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Offline PrincessMommy

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2011, 09:12:57 AM »

It seems to be very uncomfortable to stand in the small space between that pews.

It is.  

In our parish most people begin to sit during the litanies after the sermon.  Although I've heard that one should never sit after the Great Entrance and the Gifts have been placed on the altar.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 09:14:39 AM by PrincessMommy »

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2011, 09:52:26 AM »

It seems to be very uncomfortable to stand in the small space between that pews.

It is.  

In our parish most people begin to sit during the litanies after the sermon.  Although I've heard that one should never sit after the Great Entrance and the Gifts have been placed on the altar.

When we had the Church painted and renewed in anticipation of the 100th anniversary a few years ago, we removed two rows of pews on both sides of the aisle, shortened the first three rows by the amvon and shortened the last row for better handicapped access. When the pews were reinstalled after being refurbished they were placed about eight inches further apart and give more room.


Offline PrincessMommy

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 10:18:12 AM »

It seems to be very uncomfortable to stand in the small space between that pews.

It is.  

In our parish most people begin to sit during the litanies after the sermon.  Although I've heard that one should never sit after the Great Entrance and the Gifts have been placed on the altar.

When we had the Church painted and renewed in anticipation of the 100th anniversary a few years ago, we removed two rows of pews on both sides of the aisle, shortened the first three rows by the amvon and shortened the last row for better handicapped access. When the pews were reinstalled after being refurbished they were placed about eight inches further apart and give more room.



our parish did something similar a number of years ago during remodeling.  We took out the first 2-3 rows and also shorted the next 2 rows.  However, we never changed the distance between the pews.  It's very uncomfortable unless your as thin as Twiggy or a child.


Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 11:00:50 AM »

It seems to be very uncomfortable to stand in the small space between that pews.

It is.  

In our parish most people begin to sit during the litanies after the sermon.  Although I've heard that one should never sit after the Great Entrance and the Gifts have been placed on the altar.

When we had the Church painted and renewed in anticipation of the 100th anniversary a few years ago, we removed two rows of pews on both sides of the aisle, shortened the first three rows by the amvon and shortened the last row for better handicapped access. When the pews were reinstalled after being refurbished they were placed about eight inches further apart and give more room.



our parish did something similar a number of years ago during remodeling.  We took out the first 2-3 rows and also shorted the next 2 rows.  However, we never changed the distance between the pews.  It's very uncomfortable unless your as thin as Twiggy or a child.



People were smaller in the old days!!   :) :)

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 11:38:18 AM »
What are the moments of the DL when all the faithful sit on the pews?

No, I don't want to start a debate whether it's right or not.

In my OCA parish, there is not point in time that all sit on the pews; we have pews/seats against the side and back walls only. However, if the question is when all the faithful may sit (on pews, chairs or floor), it would be during the Epistle reading and the homily.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2011, 01:01:58 PM »
What we should do and what we do do are two different things.

We should stand the whole time, sitting only for the Sermon (homily).

In my church people sit at various intervals.   (Yes, we kneel on Sundays  :o  Except after the Nativity, and after Pascha.)

•   The Great Litany and Antiphons –some  sit, most stand
•   The “Little” Entrance – all stand
•   The Trisagion Hymn – all stand
•   The Epistle – some sit
•   The Gospel – all kneel (or stand)
•   The sermon/homily – all sit
•   Litany of Fervent Supplication – some sit
•   Litany for the Deceased – all stand
•   Prayer for Catechumens – some sit
•   Prayer of the Faithful/Great Entrance – all stand
•   The Petitions – some sit
•   The Creed – all stand (or kneel)
•   The Holy Anaphora – some kneel, some stand – all end up kneeling by the “amen, amen, amen!”
•   “It is truly right to bless you, Theotokos…” – some sit, some stand – first offering basket is passed around
•   The Lord’s Prayer – all kneel
•   Priest's Communion – (curtains closed), most sit, some stand - second passing of offering basket
•   Holy Communion – all stand
•   Thanksgiving – stand
•   Dismissal – stand
•   Final hymn – Boje Velikij "Боже великий, єдиний" – God, the Great One– kneel

I have found it easier not to watch what anyone else is doing.  We don't know if they are tired, old, sick, etc.  If they feel the need to sit, let them sit.  At least they are in church and not at home sitting on the couch in front of their TV.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 01:04:55 PM by LizaSymonenko »
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Offline PrincessMommy

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2011, 01:04:53 PM »


I have found it easier not to watch what anyone else is doing.  We don't know if they are tired, old, sick, etc.  If they feel the need to sit, let them sit.  At least they are in church and not at home sitting on the couch in front of their TV.



I agree. 

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 01:34:25 PM »
What are the moments of the DL when all the faithful sit on the pews?

No, I don't want to start a debate whether it's right or not.

In my OCA parish, there is not point in time that all sit on the pews; we have pews/seats against the side and back walls only. However, if the question is when all the faithful may sit (on pews, chairs or floor), it would be during the Epistle reading and the homily.

That is also the Finnish practice. Most seem to stand even during the Epistle reading. We may have wrong calendar but at least we stand during our services. :P
I just need to find out how to say it in Slavonic!

Offline Seraphim98

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2011, 02:35:58 AM »
One of the visual cues to look for is the altar doors. If the doors are open and the altar is visible, then if possible one should stand.

Offline mildert

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2011, 06:52:52 AM »
One of the visual cues to look for is the altar doors. If the doors are open and the altar is visible, then if possible one should stand.

Perhaps, but it is contrary to general practice.  In Russian Churches, the doors are closed most of the time (except when a Bishop is serving) there are no pews and people stand all the time, whereas in Greek Churches the doors are open most of the time, there may be pews and people sit often.

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2011, 01:50:28 PM »
I don't think there's a universal tradition on the opening and closing of the Beautiful Gates. It seems to differ somewhat between Greek and Slavic practice, but only at the Liturgy. I haven't observed big differences at any services of the daily cycle.

It's interesting that so many have experienced sitting during the Epistle reading. I was always taught to never sit during the Apostol, since we are preparing for the Gospel (the church is being censed during the reading, immediately after the Alleluia is sung, etc.)

We sit during the homily, and that's about it. Some of the infirmed, pregnant or elderly may sit during the communion of the faithful. We only have one priest (no deacon) so it takes a little while. Many of the catechumens and serious inquirers will also venerate the chalice, and that lengthens the time. We have pews only along the side walls of the nave, and not in rows facing the altar.

When attending a church with pews, the general times for sitting I see are:

-The antiphons
-The litanies (excluding the little litanies)
-Homily
-Our Father (kneel)
-Communion of Clergy/Faithful (after communing)
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2011, 02:28:02 PM »
They do the censing during the reading of the Apostle so, nobody's sitting, nobody's listening either, but everybody's following the censer and crossing. Plus the noise of the bells on the censer's chains make it really difficult to hear the Apostle. That's how it is back home.
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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2011, 03:27:41 PM »
In  my parish  it is more  or less that folks sit or stand as the spirit moves them.  (We us folding chairs with a pews at the back walls.)
We  are  made up of people from many different Orthodox backgrounds that we don't have a single way.

For the most part, we all stand when the  priest is  in the nave. And  mostly all sit for the sermon. (The doors play no part in it.)

I think that it is nice that we all don't set and stand at the same time like it was an official part of the service. Mostly we all stand, with some folks taking short  sits at different times.

Offline ilyazhito

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2011, 03:16:58 PM »
I don't think there should be pews. Old Country churches do not have pews. I believe that you could sit during the Litany before the Creed and at other "unimportant" times. ;)
P.S. Nothing at the Liturgy is really unimportant.

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2011, 03:27:33 PM »
What are the moments of the DL when all the faithful sit on the pews?

No, I don't want to start a debate whether it's right or not.

During the Sermon and the announcements after the DL is over.

During Vigil you can sit when Psalms are being read. Not the "Six  Psalms" when the lights are out but later. Sometimes other Old Testament passages are read. So when you hear " A Reading from Exodus" etc. you can sit.

This is true in Churches with no pews too. You can go sit on a bench along the side.

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2011, 03:34:27 PM »
When my neck and shoulders lock up, causing considerable pain because of injuries from an old accident, or I feel very flushed because of medication I have to take, is it important that I be up straight on my tiptoes, or can I rest for a second?  ???

If there are no pews, I would not usually be able to make it through the liturgy. I'm not sure of this 'I must like God better because hey, I'm standing, but you have seats!' thing. I think it's a little patronizing.
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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2011, 03:37:32 PM »
What are the moments of the DL when all the faithful sit on the pews?

No, I don't want to start a debate whether it's right or not.

During the Sermon and the announcements after the DL is over.

During Vigil you can sit when Psalms are being read. Not the "Six  Psalms" when the lights are out but later. Sometimes other Old Testament passages are read. So when you hear " A Reading from Exodus" etc. you can sit.

This is true in Churches with no pews too. You can go sit on a bench along the side.


We have benches on the side in our church, too. And generally no one sits except for during the homily and after DL is over. Vigil people will sitting during the Kathisma, but father is also doing confessions then, too. No pews, no problems.  ;)

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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2011, 03:38:42 PM »
I like to sit when people are getting communion, and kneel when the gospel is read. In ancient Greece they didn't have pews, but instead sat on top of milk cartons. And in ancient Egypt they prayed kathismata ever 2.3 hours but, despite the name, would insist on doing headstands just to throw the chinese visitors from wicked, luxurious Rome off their guard. It worked quite well. Btw, pews are sinful.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 03:39:14 PM by Asteriktos »
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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2011, 03:41:39 PM »
I like to sit when people are getting communion, and kneel when the gospel is read. In ancient Greece they didn't have pews, but instead sat on top of milk cartons. And in ancient Egypt they prayed kathismata ever 2.3 hours but, despite the name, would insist on doing headstands just to throw the chinese visitors from wicked, luxurious Rome off their guard. It worked quite well. Btw, pews are sinful.
Silly goose!  :D

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Offline biro

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2011, 03:41:58 PM »
 :D :D :D
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2011, 05:15:22 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The simple answer is NEVER.  The Orthodox never had pews, that is Western addition and a relatively recent one at that.  The places were people "sit down" are actually moments where traditionally the people bowed down or were prostrated, which is rather different than just sitting down, even if in sincere prayer.  Prostrations are physical manifestation of an act of faith and piety, submitting fully and even physically to God in prayer.

Each time the congregation all sit down, it is generally at those times when the Deacons or Priests call for the faithful to bow in prostration an certain litanies, absolutions, petitions, and prayers.  We also in the Ethiopian Church make the deepest prostrations at the Prayer of the Fraction and then when the Priests Commune. 

The Churches used to be empty buildings much the the Cathedrals in France (where they today have to bring in thousands of folding chairs to appease the peoples' tastes to sit down) where the people congregated to stand in prayer for the Divine Liturgy, and at prostrations they fell to the floor much many still do (myself included) at the prescribed moments during the Liturgy services today.  This of course is the IDEAL.  People should always keep in mind that the Canons, Laws, Regulations, and Traditions of the Church are ALWAYS AN IDEAL STANDARD, not a legalistic obligation.  We try our best in God's Grace, but we are only human and that makes our efforts all the more admirable, like short-lived wildflowers in the searing desert heat momentarily beautifying existence beyond words :)

stay blessed,
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Re: Pews again? I hope not.
« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2011, 06:27:32 PM »
If you're a Greek Australian, you stand when the priest is facing (watching?) you and sit the rest of the time.

You also look like you're playing the bouzouki when crossing yourself, have probably never prostrated, ever, and think the best time for a chat is during the Cherubic hymn (before the priest comes out from the altar to cense, of course).
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.

Offline Salpy

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Pews
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2011, 12:02:19 AM »
What's the deal with pews?  Isn't it better when churches don't have pews in them?

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Pews
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2011, 12:09:51 AM »
What's the deal with pews?  Isn't it better when churches don't have pews in them?

You're not serious are you Salpy?
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Pews
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2011, 12:11:35 AM »
Post of the month nomination.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Pews
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2011, 12:14:47 AM »
You just have so much more room without pews.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Pews
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2011, 12:22:20 AM »
You just have so much more room without pews.

All this German jibber jabber on other threads and I really misread that last word.

OR:

First they came for the pews, and I did nothing.
Then they came for the . . . 

//:=|

Offline Cognomen

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Re: Pews
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2011, 12:28:01 AM »
You just have so much more room without pews.

All this German jibber jabber on other threads and I really misread that last word.
OR:
First they came for the pews, and I did nothing.
Then they came for the . . . 

//:=|
Come to think of it, your patented emoticon does look a bit like a certain deceased Austrian.  I'm changing my signature.

Post of the month nomination seconded and great thread!
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Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: Pews
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2011, 12:29:32 AM »
You just have so much more room without pews.
I concur. Bowing is greatly restricted and prostrations are right out. I would be in favor of using them for firewood.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Pews
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2011, 12:34:28 AM »
Post of the month nomination.
Which post?
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Pews
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2011, 12:37:54 AM »
Post of the month nomination.
Which post?

You can't be serious!  :D

I'm going to sleep.
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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Pews
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2011, 01:19:16 AM »
Does anyone know yet whether we're getting pews in heaven to make up for all that standing and prostrating we've done on earth?
She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Pews
« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2011, 01:21:23 AM »
Come to think of it, your patented emoticon does look a bit like a certain deceased Austrian.  I'm changing my signature.

And your improvement looks like the same deceased Austrian if history went his way.

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Pews
« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2011, 01:43:42 AM »
I rather like pews. I don't care for all the milling about that goes on during Liturgy when they are absent. I'm also big on personal space, and don't care for how people crowd about when left free to roam. I like how people stay in neat orderly rows. It also seems to contain children better than letting them roam free during Liturgy.

It may be heretical of me, but I simply am not comfortable in parishes that are pew-less. I grew up with them, and I like them. It's what I'm accustomed to.
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Offline mike

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Re: Pews
« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2011, 06:41:32 AM »
I rather like pews. I don't care for all the milling about that goes on during Liturgy when they are absent. I'm also big on personal space, and don't care for how people crowd about when left free to roam. I like how people stay in neat orderly rows. It also seems to contain children better than letting them roam free during Liturgy.

It may be heretical of me, but I simply am not comfortable in parishes that are pew-less. I grew up with them, and I like them. It's what I'm accustomed to.

Heretic!

;)
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