Author Topic: Altar and Nave division  (Read 113 times)

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Offline minasoliman

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Altar and Nave division
« on: April 09, 2018, 05:54:07 PM »
I was curious about something.  I noticed that there have been commentaries that the Coptic Church before the 14th century did not have divisions between the altar and the nave, and that our adoption of the iconostasis was influenced by Byzantine architecture, and then the influence trickled down to the Ethiopians.  I noticed Syriac and Armenian Churches seem to have no iconostasis, but then again, there is still an implicit division of the altar area and the nave.

So my question is this:  before the Roman Empire built cathedrals and legalized Christianity, what was a basic structure for Church liturgy?  Was there restrictions at the time that we know of today, like who is allowed around the altar, or was the altar not a division, but just a table in a certain front area, where at the right time, congregants would approach to partake of the Eucharist without fear of wondering who is or is not allowed near the altar?
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Altar and Nave division
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 11:19:07 PM »
In some Syriac Churches, there is a veil instead of a Byzantine icon screen or a Western reredo.  Could this be the case of the Coptic Church then?
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