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Author Topic: Interesting (but little known facts) About the Divine Liturgy  (Read 2052 times) Average Rating: 0
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Manny_the_Pathologist
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« on: April 26, 2011, 12:19:39 AM »

Hello,

It's been a while since I have been to the forum.  For my first post, I was wondering if you might post interesting (but little known) facts about the Liturgy.  For example, the waving of the cloth covering the gifts during the Divine Liturgy is a sign of the victorious flag of Christianity.  As many people who post have an extensive knowledge base, Id love to learn more about our tradition

-Manny_the_Pathologist
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 12:22:31 AM »

I thought the cloth waving was to keep the flies off!  Tongue
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 12:26:21 AM »

Welcome to the forum!  Smiley
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Kasatkin fan
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 01:39:59 AM »

I thought the cloth waving was to keep the flies off!  Tongue

Semiotics being what it is, both could easily be correct.
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 01:53:33 AM »

Giving deep symbolic meaning to mundane things is what makes EOxy, Eastern.
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 10:22:27 AM »

Giving deep symbolic meaning to mundane things is what makes EOxy, Eastern.

This definitely seems to be the case.
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jah777
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2011, 10:41:47 AM »

I thought the cloth waving was to keep the flies off!  Tongue

And to represent the "rushing mighty wind" of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:2).
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011, 10:50:29 AM »

Giving deep symbolic meaning to mundane things is what makes EOxy, Eastern.

This definitely seems to be the case.

People often ask my priest if there's any significance to him holding the Gospel book while giving his sermons. In many ways, he resembles the priests and bishops in the icons because he wraps it in his phelonion and doesn't touch it with his hands. But, in reality, it is not symbolic at all. It's his security blanket for public speaking, and he doesn't touch it with his hand at that time so as not to tarnish it.
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 08:29:58 PM »

Giving deep symbolic meaning to mundane things is what makes EOxy, Eastern.

This definitely seems to be the case.

People often ask my priest if there's any significance to him holding the Gospel book while giving his sermons. In many ways, he resembles the priests and bishops in the icons because he wraps it in his phelonion and doesn't touch it with his hands. But, in reality, it is not symbolic at all. It's his security blanket for public speaking, and he doesn't touch it with his hand at that time so as not to tarnish it.

Beautiful, on both levels.
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2011, 08:41:44 PM »

I don't mean to be a stick-in-the-mud, but isn't there a danger to ascribing spiritual explanations to every single mundane action? My priest* told my husband and I some stories about how church members would argue that things needed to be done a certain way because of the symbolism that they ascribed to it. It can make certain behaviors and rituals appear more necessary than they actually are.


For example, how important is waving the cloth over the gifts? I heard the fly story as well as other explanations. If it's the former, then is it right for a priest to be chastised for not waving the cloth? It's important to everyone else because they made up an explanation, but it's not necessarily vital for the Liturgy. (Or is it?)



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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011, 08:55:46 PM »

I don't mean to be a stick-in-the-mud, but isn't there a danger to ascribing spiritual explanations to every single mundane action? My priest* told my husband and I some stories about how church members would argue that things needed to be done a certain way because of the symbolism that they ascribed to it. It can make certain behaviors and rituals appear more necessary than they actually are.

I agree, but the opposite mindset is also dangerous -- ie: anything other than the anaphora/oblation can be done away with because it is unnecessary (I am not accusing you of this thinking at all, just saying it is a temptation that exists).
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 08:56:22 PM by akimori makoto » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011, 09:02:52 PM »

I don't mean to be a stick-in-the-mud, but isn't there a danger to ascribing spiritual explanations to every single mundane action?

If memory serves, I think Fr Alexander Schmemann takes a similar track in "For the Life of the World." (Of course he never argued that we should remove such things as unnecessary or anything like that, which would not be Orthodox. We don't seek to determine what is the minimum necessary for a "valid" Liturgy.)

I personally think that mundane actions can take on a greater meaning. These meanings are wonderful and add great richness—but should not be treated as dogma or be the cause of arguments. We don't need to deny the practical origins either. Liturgy develops, it's a fact.

As another interesting note, I've heard the Great Entrance was originally the priest walking to a table where the people put bread for the offering, and choosing a loaf to use for the Eucharist. The procession was kept, even when that practice of bringing bread was no longer done. Now it seems to represent Christ's entry into Jerusalem.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 09:03:44 PM by bogdan » Logged
Manny_the_Pathologist
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2011, 02:03:37 PM »

I am currently working on a project to compose a new Liturgy Book for Sunday Services with a few friends in the clergy.  I think that even if some actions in the Liturgy were originally practical and then came to have a liturgical meaning, I think these would be valuable to mention to lift up people's hearts and minds to God.
 
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2011, 02:44:45 PM »


Manny!  I would love to hear about these.

This is my summer's project.  I teach religion at our church school....and my summer plan is to make a "booklet" explaining the Divine Liturgy. 

While I know that there are multiple symbolisms for almost every action, none the less....I think it would be good for people to realize the meaning of what is happening before them.  Maybe if they knew "what" they were seeing, they would actually be participators and not just spectators.

I've accumulated a number of books...and now only need to get organized....and find the time to actually sit down and do the work.
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