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« on: December 12, 2002, 01:39:23 PM »

Ukrainian Catholics in Canada have altar girls  Sad: http://www.yorktonredemptorists.com/images/Procession_11.jpg
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2002, 02:07:13 PM »

To be fair, Serge, these are Redemptorists! Wink  Not exactly the St. Nicholas Cabasilas Society!
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2002, 02:44:27 PM »

Perhaps, and I have only seen this done in one Ruthenian Church, the girls vest in sticharion, hold candles for processions and read the epistle, but all outside the altar, while boys perform the traditonal roles inside the altar.  It would still be a violation of the spirit of the Eastern Code I think, but given they don't enter the altar and many women read the epistle and cantor already I don't see it as a major abuse.  The Redemptorits do need to stop the Latin copycat syndrome of if the Latins can do it so can we.  Only Patriarch Lubomyr could authorize girls to vest and serve even outisde the altar.

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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2002, 03:16:35 PM »

Perhaps, and I have only seen this done in one Ruthenian Church, the girls vest in sticharion, hold candles for processions and read the epistle, but all outside the altar, while boys perform the traditonal roles inside the altar.  It would still be a violation of the spirit of the Eastern Code I think, but given they don't enter the altar and many women read the epistle and cantor already I don't see it as a major abuse.  The Redemptorits do need to stop the Latin copycat syndrome of if the Latins can do it so can we.  Only Patriarch Lubomyr could authorize girls to vest and serve even outisde the altar.

In Christ,
Lance
Actually, I went to liturgy at a Hungarian Greek Catholic Church in Ontario about 20 years ago, and was surprised to see that they had only altar girls.  And they were inside the altar area as well, (although this church had no iconostasis, as it was pretty Latinized).  Maybe altar girls at Eastern Catholic Churches is a Canadian thing. Sad

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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2002, 05:16:05 PM »

Friends,

I witnessed a female altar server serve Divine Liturgy (not vested) in Budapest in '96.  She was an older woman and could have been the wife of the priest, I have no way of knowing.  There was no screen but she was certainly within the sanctuary space, screen or not.  I was surprised but did not find it offensive.  

I am told that one Ruthenian BC parish in the Van Nuys Eparchy has had "altar girls" for some time now and when the Pope was there in the '90s for World Youth Day they were present.  Further I am told that in the Mon Valley (not far from Pittburgh) there is a Ruthenian BC parish that has "altar girls" and has for some time as well.  Now I have not witnessed either of these two cases but I have them on reliable sources.

We must remember that while this is not the practice of the Eastern Orthodox Church, who serves in women's monasteries?  Women monastics, of course and within the screen, at least that is what I have witnessed.  

Further, I am not convinced that the practice of "altar boys" is very old.  As I understand it, those who served were usually tonsured or ordained, young no doubt.  Somehow over time this morphed into the current practice of sending up young men and boys to serve at the altar.  I have to admit I have served with small boys (4 and up) and while they are "cute" they are not really an asset.  They don't serve much.  Of course, it is one way to help them become comfortable in the altar and this may encourage vocations.  So let's be clear, I am not discouraging it.

Now, while the various codes of practice that govern the Eastern Catholic Churches do not allow for this most of you on here who are familiar with the Eastern Catholic Churches will know this it was only a matter of time before this happens.  

My only comment on this is "why is this so important?"  Do you think that this will happen in the Orthodox Church?  Do you feel bad that the BCs are junking another aspect of their tradition?  This is supposed to be an Orthodox Forum, what is the relation of this post to Orthodox Christianity and its liturgy?

I wish you all a fruitful continuation of this season of preparation.

Tony Saborio
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2002, 07:04:24 PM »

[This is supposed to be an Orthodox Forum, what is the relation of this post to Orthodox Christianity and its liturgy?]

Just another way of pointing out that they are not the 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome' they claim to be.
For they have not only compromised the Orthodox Catholic faith and doctrine, but the ritual too.

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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2002, 07:46:09 PM »

[This is supposed to be an Orthodox Forum, what is the relation of this post to Orthodox Christianity and its liturgy?]

Just another way of pointing out that they are not the 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome' they claim to be.
For they have not only compromised the Orthodox Catholic faith and doctrine, but the ritual too.

Orthodoc

Hmmm like the tonsured woman reader that Bp Maximos of the GOA tonsured and whom he even granted the right to wear a riassa?

What about women deacons? If they get brought back, won't that make objections to altar girls look silly?

Armenian Orthodox have altar girls who vest.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2002, 08:14:34 PM »

[This is supposed to be an Orthodox Forum, what is the relation of this post to Orthodox Christianity and its liturgy?]

Just another way of pointing out that they are not the 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome' they claim to be.
For they have not only compromised the Orthodox Catholic faith and doctrine, but the ritual too.

Orthodoc

Hmmm like the tonsured woman reader that Bp Maximos of the GOA tonsured and whom he even granted the right to wear a riassa?

What about women deacons? If they get brought back, won't that make objections to altar girls look silly?

Armenian Orthodox have altar girls who vest.

In Christ,

anastasios

It would be interesting to know what the GOA and other SCOBA jurisdictions think of Metropolitan MAXIMOS' action.  

It may happen that ignorance will reign here.  There are those who say when the time comes for Christmas to move to January 8 (in 2100?), some will reject it as an innovation, not understanding that the current 13 days difference was at the beginning only 10 days.

As much as I have love and respect for the Armenian Church and her faithful, I don't think we Chalcedonian Eastern Orthodox can look to her for liturgical grounding.  If we did so, then we could use an unmixed chalice and use unleavened bread.  Further, as I understand it we could celebrate the Theophany and Nativity on the same day as there are not two distinct calendar dates for their celebration.

As I clearly stated above, when I saw a woman serve at the altar in a parish I was surprised but that was about it.  If the Church legislates that this practice is acceptable, then that is one thing.  To push the envelope seems like another issue.  Is there not a clear call to order in the Church practice on issues as big as these?  I mean there is a precedent for married bishops (it happened before), why not push to restore that too?  If the answer is "OK, let's" then the question is "How?" by just doing it like the RCs are accused of with communion-in-the-hand?  

Maybe I am an old fuddy-duddy but I think obedience has a place in the life of the Orthodox Christian, even if it is difficult.  No one said it would be easy.   Why should this kind of obedience be so unimportant?

Tony
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2002, 08:31:48 PM »

ORTHODOC, I ACCIDENTLY ERASED YOUR MESSAGE. PLEASE FORGIVE ME IT WAS AN HONEST MISTAKE.  Portions of it are quoted in my response below.  Please retype it if you have it saved somewhere and repost it, or reconstruct your post from the snippets that are saved in my reply.  Our "modify" and "quote" buttons are right next to each other for us Administrators, and sometimes I have hit the wrong button--this time after I had already saved the message.

Sorry!

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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2002, 08:57:08 PM »

Armenian Orthodox have altar girls who vest.

While I haven't seen this myself, I have an Armenian friend who served as an altar girl in her church, during the Badarak, behind the veil, vested.  I was surprised when I heard this, and asked why it was allowed for Armenians but not for us (since I'd never heard of such a thing).  She told me that, while the custom is for boys to do these things, at the time, no boys wanted to do it, and so the priest made an exception and allowed girls to do it.  She has stopped now, I think, and I am not sure if they still have altar girls (they may have gotten enough boys to do this), but I do know it was and probably still is done on some basis.
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2002, 10:00:49 PM »

To be fair, Serge, these are Redemptorists! Wink  Not exactly the St. Nicholas Cabasilas Society!

Perhaps not, but *how* did the Redemptorists get such a stranglehold in so many areas of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church?  They are so Latinized.

Many years ago when I was still a Byzantine Catholic, I attended two Liturgies celebrated according to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic recension at St. Basil's Seminary in Stamford, CT.  It was a "Byzantine Marriage Encounter" weekend.  This was the first time that I witnessed a Byzantine liturgy served without incense and without chant, although it was concelebrated by three Ukrainian Redemptorist priests (two of them from Canada).  The Epiklesis had been altered too, to fit in with the Latin understanding of transubstantiation taking place at the Words of Institution.  The Epiklesis became, what my then Ruthenian pastor told me, a "delayed invocation."

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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2002, 11:55:53 PM »

Dear Orthodoc:

<And does she read from the Sancturay or go behind the Iconostatsis for the priests Blessing before reading?  I bet no.>

Well neither of us know that for a fact, although I could ask her the next time she is at St. Vladimir's.  The fact that she was tonsured with the same rite as a male reader would be, was given a riassa, is communed as "Reader so and so", etc. says a lot about what Met. Maximos intended for her.

<Why?  They never parTicipated in the Liturgy->

Yet they wore a sticharion and an orarion and communed at the altar.  How is that so different than seeing a girl in a sticharion carry some liturgical item?

That reminds me of a point: lots of Orthodox think that there is some rule about women not being allowed in the altar.  That rule is simply not existent, according to Prof. Meyendorff here at St. Vlad's.  The canons prohibit ANYONE from going into the altar if they don't have a reason to do so.  In the middle ages the whole "ritual purity" thing came up, where it was legislated that women could not even come to church if on their menstrual cycle, but that is clearly a judaistic and cultural practice that is a corruption (it did lead to a diminishing of the female diaconate, however).

<Deaconess - In the  early Church, deaconesses were blessed with the same prayers and 'set aside' with a similiar (although not identical) ritual as males. >

It is certainly similar enough to be the same "thing":

http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/deac_ord.htm
http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/deac_gr3.htm

(forgive the necessity of my refering to an otherwise heretical website as they are the only ones I know of who scanned that information online).

[Armenian Orthodox have altar girls who vest.]

<Never heard of this perhaps someone can expand on this.

Orthodoc>

I have personally witnessed it at a liturgy celebrated by Archbishop Khajag Barssamian in January 2000, and you may find photos in the Armenian diocesan newspaper of altar girls.  Of course, Armenians are not in union with Eastern Orthodox so this is an argument from "similarity" I guess.

Orthodoc, my last post was somewhat sarcastic and I apologize for that.  I was slightly offended at what I perceived as your eagerness to jump at something like this as "just another example of Byzantine Catholics deviating" when I know for a fact that the Orthodox have at least one woman reader.  I see it as, "The Byzantine Catholic priests that are having altar girls are breaking their rules, so that can't be used as an example against their overall practice."

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2002, 12:43:02 AM »

[I was slightly offended at what I perceived as your eagerness to jump at something like this as "just another example of Byzantine Catholics deviating" when I know for a fact that the Orthodox have at least one woman reader.]

I was merely answering the question on why this issue (which was about Altar Girls, not Readers) was pertinent on an Orthodox Site.  

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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2002, 01:39:20 AM »

Friends,

I just realized my previous post was incomplete and could be misleading.  The female altar server (woman not girl) I saw with my very own eyes serve in Budapest when I was there in '96 was in a Greek Catholic Church.  It was the church in Buda (on F+¦ utca if memory serves me well).  

I still cannot help but feel that this thread has no place in this category, except at best for the purpose of comparison.  

Tony
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2002, 10:50:51 AM »

I served Great Vespers at Holy Transfiguration Monastery for women in Elwood City, PA, about a month ago.  Of course, they have a woman server who gives the priest the censer, lights the candles, and serves as a "taper-bearer" during entrances.  When you first encounter it, it seems very "different" (as opposed to wrong).  But in the end, it's all very natural and even refreshing.  She is a very pious woman and she serves with great dignity.

But I will tell you that, as the father of three daughters, I've already had to explain to my nine-year-old why she doesn't serve in the altar - to her great dismay.  She's now made it her goal to be the first woman deacon in the modern era! (Controversy regarding their liturgical function not withstanding!)

We do, however, ask our girls to do things outside of the altar like hold the antidoron, or the zapivka at communion, or pass our bulletins or whatever.  (We do not have them hold candles in entrances, though.) We group them just like we do the boys, except we call them "handmaidens."  It seems to quell any concerns about them not serving in the altar (not that there really are any vocal proponents of that in the parish).

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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2002, 05:17:44 PM »

Folks,

I think that the following ORTHODX website regarding Deaconesses will be very helpful.

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/deaconess/

Yes their were female deacons in the Church, but what is important to remember is that they did NOT serve the altar.
The website says it all, so I will not repeat.

In Christ +
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« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2002, 12:31:28 PM »

Is it a Church law, rule or just tradition that girls cannot serve behind the Iconostasis?  Would it be proper to state that in areas lacking boys or boys who decide they dont want to serve that girls properly trained could do this job?  Im sure that this is a extremely very rare occurance in the Orthodox Church but it apparently does exist.  Am I out of line or is there some weight to this argument? Huh

JoeS

[I was slightly offended at what I perceived as your eagerness to jump at something like this as "just another example of Byzantine Catholics deviating" when I know for a fact that the Orthodox have at least one woman reader.]

I was merely answering the question on why this issue (which was about Altar Girls, not Readers) was pertinent on an Orthodox Site.  

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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2002, 01:03:55 AM »

My Priest says to quote him, "There will NEVER be female clergy in the Holy Orthodox Church!  And I would question the Orthodoxy of any member of the clergy that use female servers in the Altar as a matter of fact I would question the Orthodoxy of anyone who would even ask the question: can females become clergy." Then he resounded a loud "Anathema" and  lit his cigar Grin

And I concur with Father.

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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2002, 01:43:11 AM »

Folks,

I think that the following ORTHODX website regarding Deaconesses will be very helpful.

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/deaconess/

Yes their were female deacons in the Church, but what is important to remember is that they did NOT serve the altar.
The website says it all, so I will not repeat.

In Christ +

Historically, and from the ordination prayer, it is fairly clear (and the lack of rubrics for deaconesses in the entirety of the typicon and other historical texts) that deaconesses did not have a liturgical role equal to that of the deacon (if any), however, it should also be noted that they were permitted at the altar (the rubrics state that after communion, the deaconess placed the chalice back onto the altar), ordained at the altar (although the rubric for her to kneel and place her hands on the altar is missing, there is no mention of the bishop leaving the altar, "she is brought before the bishop", while the other deacons stand outside of the altar), and communed at the altar (at least at this ordination - there is no reason to assume that this changes after ordination).

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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2002, 09:47:50 AM »

The good father seems very narrow minded if he feels you cant even ask the question. Angry
JoeS

My Priest says to quote him, "There will NEVER be female clergy in the Holy Orthodox Church!  And I would question the Orthodoxy of any member of the clergy that use female servers in the Altar as a matter of fact I would question the Orthodoxy of anyone who would even ask the question: can females become clergy." Then he resounded a loud "Anathema" and  lit his cigar Grin

And I concur with Father.


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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2003, 07:06:32 PM »

Quote
Just another way of pointing out that they are not the 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome' they claim to be.
For they have not only compromised the Orthodox Catholic faith and doctrine, but the ritual too.


The use of Altar girls is a very grave abuse, which was borrowed from the modern Catholic Church. No matter if this tends to be a "return to a primitiva practice" or that some people claim that there were deaconesses in ancient times, the tradition of the Church has stated that this must not be the rule. It seems that the Novus Ordo corruption has arrived to the Eastern Catholic Churches too. I hope the Bishops of this Church can do something about this, this is a big obstacle to Ecumenism (liebarlsim)
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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2003, 01:18:23 PM »

I watched a Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Rite online this past week, and I noticed some significant departures from Orthodox rubrics, but these departures were very much in line with Latin Rite "Novus Ordo" practice, i.e., "Latinizations."

Instead of the priest giving the deacon from the chalice to drink of the Precious Blood, the deacon took the chalice off the altar himself and communed himself thereof.  The lay boy altar servers were all communed within the altar instead of outside the altar, as is proper for anyone below the order of deacon according to Byzantine Orthodox rubrics.  But these Ruthenian departures are all in line with Latin Rite rubrics.

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« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2003, 02:34:17 PM »

That’s because the Ruthenian rank and file don’t really want to be Eastern.
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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2003, 03:11:01 PM »

I watched a Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Rite online this past week, and I noticed some significant departures from Orthodox rubrics, but these departures were very much in line with Latin Rite "Novus Ordo" practice, i.e., "Latinizations."

Instead of the priest giving the deacon from the chalice to drink of the Precious Blood, the deacon took the chalice off the altar himself and communed himself thereof.  The lay boy altar servers were all communed within the altar instead of outside the altar, as is proper for anyone below the order of deacon according to Byzantine Orthodox rubrics.  But these Ruthenian departures are all in line with Latin Rite rubrics.

Hypo-Ortho

Was that common Ruthenian practice when you were a Byzantine Catholic?  I have been to about ten different Byzantine Catholic parishes (Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Melkite, and Italo-Albanian) and have never seen altar boys communed at the altar.  Maybe I just tend to get lucky and find the ones that are not that latinized?

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2003, 03:14:17 PM »

I’ve seen altar boys communed in the altar, but not AT the Holy Table like a priest, in a Ruthenian church, 8-10 years ago. Not the worst thing in the world, not nearly as bad as grabbing the chalice off the HT and communing oneself, an abuse some Novus Ordo congregations have fallen into, but not what they’re supposed to be doing.
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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2003, 03:15:01 PM »

Hypo-Ortho,

Self-communication by a deacon is an abuse in both the Latin and Byzantine Churches.  In the Latin Church the deacon is to be handed the chalice by the priest, although the priest does not continue to hold as do we Byzantines.  For the deacon to take the chalice from the altar himself is an abuse in either tradition it can not be called a latinization regardless of how widesprea the abuse is.  I would also add that I have never seen a deacon do anything other than the tradtional Byzantine practice of drinking from the chalice while it is held by the priest.  This is also how my deacon class was trained and we have no intention of doing otherwise.  The issue of communicating altar boys within the altar is a rather small abuse (which I have seen done in Orthodox parishes) and in parishes without icon screens (another issue in itself) it is almost a nonissue.

Reader Serge,

That is a very broad generalization.  While I will not deny that attitude exists among some, I think the majority simply wish to keep the things they are familiar with.  They perceive the usages that they have received as uniquely their own, neither Latin or Russian, but Rusyn.  They perceive moves to Easternize as attempts at Russification, not really recognizing that it is only a return to what is properly theirs.  The Latinizations they don't perceive as Latinizations in part because they have always had them (as long as they can remember).  Actual adoption of new "Latinizations" like altar girls are rather few and the newer generations of bishops, priests and deacons will not tolerate them.

In Christ,
Lance
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« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2003, 04:35:42 PM »

Well, I think it is importamt to differenciate between Latinizations (influences of the Latin Church among Easterners, like via crucis, statues, unleavened bread...) and liturgical abuse which is also alien to the Latin Tradition and has infiltrated first through the Novus ordo corruption, and then from the Roman Church to the Eastern Church.
The use of Eucharistic ministers, communion by hand, self communicating, fermale altar servers are a liturgical abuse in both traditions.
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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2003, 07:51:27 PM »

Anastasios<<Was that common Ruthenian practice when you were a Byzantine Catholic?  I have been to about ten different Byzantine Catholic parishes (Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Melkite, and Italo-Albanian) and have never seen altar boys communed at the altar.  Maybe I just tend to get lucky and find the ones that are not that latinized?>>

No, Anastasios, this was *not* a common Ruthenian practice when I was a Byzantine Catholic.  It appears to me to be something new.  Altar boys and even subdeacons were *always* communed *outside* the altar when I was a BC, no exceptions.  Btw, the deacon who communicated himself of the Precious Blood was seen by me in a recent video clip in a post on the Byzantine Forum, so it's probably still there.  I did not keep the link, unfortunately.

Hypo-Ortho
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TonyS
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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2003, 08:52:52 PM »

I watched a Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Rite online this past week, and I noticed some significant departures from Orthodox rubrics, but these departures were very much in line with Latin Rite "Novus Ordo" practice, i.e., "Latinizations."

Instead of the priest giving the deacon from the chalice to drink of the Precious Blood, the deacon took the chalice off the altar himself and communed himself thereof.  The lay boy altar servers were all communed within the altar instead of outside the altar, as is proper for anyone below the order of deacon according to Byzantine Orthodox rubrics.  But these Ruthenian departures are all in line with Latin Rite rubrics.

Hypo-Ortho

Was that common Ruthenian practice when you were a Byzantine Catholic?  I have been to about ten different Byzantine Catholic parishes (Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Melkite, and Italo-Albanian) and have never seen altar boys communed at the altar.  Maybe I just tend to get lucky and find the ones that are not that latinized?

In Christ,

anastasios

Friends,

During my years at Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh ('97-'01) those who served in the altar were communicated in the altar, that is behind the screen not at the Holy Table.  During my years as a BC ('92-'01)  I saw other practices as well. We were told that the way the Liturgy was celebrated at the BCS was to be the model for the entire Metropolia.

In the year I have been in the OCA I have not witnessed anyone below the rank of deacon communicated behind the screen.  

Tony S
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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2003, 12:04:57 AM »

Tony, in the 25+ years that I have been in the OCA, I have never seen anyone below the order of deacon communed behind the iconostas.  Neither have I ever seen an OCA deacon commune himself of the Precious Blood from the Chalice on the Holy Table--the Chalice was always held by a priest as he communed the deacon.

I should also say that I too have never seen those altar servers below the order of deacon communed in the altar in the Melkite or Ukrainian recension churches (I have never been in an Italo-Albanian Rite church).  This appears to be a rather recent development only in the Ruthenian recension of the Catholic Byzantine Rite, as you appear to have witnessed at  Pittsburgh BCS.

Hypo-Ortho
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TonyS
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« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2003, 01:04:32 AM »

Merely for purposes of comparison, among the Ruthenian BCs, priests communicate themselves with the Precious Blood when serving with a bishop.   This may have changed in the last year, but I would be very surprised to hear of it, this was the universal custom among the BCs for the years I was with them.
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Tómame como al tequila, de un golpe y sin pensarlo. - Ricardo Arjona

I'd be a fool to surrender when I know I can be a contender
and if everbody's a sinner then everybody can be a winner
...
I'll see you when yo
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