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Author Topic: Why does the bishop vest in the middle of the Church?  (Read 1553 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 18, 2011, 10:02:16 AM »

I wanted to find out something. Why is the bishop vested in the middle of the Church?
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 10:48:37 AM »

The simple answer is the Bishop does not enter the altar area until the little entrance so, he need someplace to get dressed.

In the Greek practice the only time the vesting of the bishop occurs on the solea is during a Vigil service (a true monastic all-night vigil) or before the concentration of a new temple.

It is my theory that the practice of vesting the bishop of the solea in the Slavic practice developed because of the lack of Orthros before the liturgy.
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 10:56:15 AM »

The simple answer is the Bishop does not enter the altar area until the little entrance so, he need someplace to get dressed.

In the Greek practice the only time the vesting of the bishop occurs on the solea is during a Vigil service (a true monastic all-night vigil) or before the concentration of a new temple.

It is my theory that the practice of vesting the bishop of the solea in the Slavic practice developed because of the lack of Orthros before the liturgy.
or their flair for the dramatic. I miss that. Cry

The vesting in the center also makes a nice picture for this caption:"Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." Pat. St. Ignatius of Antioch. Smyrnaeans 8.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 11:00:29 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 11:02:13 AM »

or their flair for the dramatic. I miss that. Cry

The vesting in the center also makes a nice picture for this caption:"Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." Pat. St. Ignatius of Antioch. Smyrnaeans 8.

That quote came to mind, actually. The bishop, in the midst of the people. Not only that, but the bishop, in the midst of the people, preparing to perform the divine work of the people. I kind of wondered if that had anything to do with it, or if my mind was reaching.
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 11:03:29 AM »

The simple answer is the Bishop does not enter the altar area until the little entrance so, he need someplace to get dressed.

In the Greek practice the only time the vesting of the bishop occurs on the solea is during a Vigil service (a true monastic all-night vigil) or before the concentration of a new temple.

It is my theory that the practice of vesting the bishop of the solea in the Slavic practice developed because of the lack of Orthros before the liturgy.
or their flair for the dramatic. I miss that. Cry

The vesting in the center also makes a nice picture for this caption:"Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." Pat. St. Ignatius of Antioch. Smyrnaeans 8.

Our Bishop was here this weekend... I buttoned him up wrong.. A sub deacon had to redo it.
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 11:15:56 AM »


Often during the Liturgy the Bishop (clergy) represent Christ.

By vesting in the Nave, the bishop represents the incarnation of Christ.  Christ coming into the world and getting baptized in the River Jordan.

Christ put on "Adam", so that mankind could put on "Christ". 

The bishop, vesting in the nave and ascending to the sanctuary represents this.

I think it's rather moving.  Especially listening to all the words recited by the deacon during the vesting.
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2011, 09:20:21 PM »


Quote
Our Bishop was here this weekend... I buttoned him up wrong.. A sub deacon had to redo it.
That happens, Marc. The ritual of vesting the bishop is a Liturgical entrance, and the bishop makes his entrance publicly, so he should vest publicly. Other clergy vest in the altar because they enter privately. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 10:06:35 PM »


Quote
Our Bishop was here this weekend... I buttoned him up wrong.. A sub deacon had to redo it.
That happens, Marc. The ritual of vesting the bishop is a Liturgical entrance, and the bishop makes his entrance publicly, so he should vest publicly. Other clergy vest in the altar because they enter privately. Correct me if I'm wrong.

This sounds like something someone made up to explain why the bishops vest outside the altar.
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2011, 11:17:03 AM »

The simple answer is the Bishop does not enter the altar area until the little entrance so, he need someplace to get dressed.

In the Greek practice the only time the vesting of the bishop occurs on the solea is during a Vigil service (a true monastic all-night vigil) or before the concentration of a new temple.

It is my theory that the practice of vesting the bishop of the solea in the Slavic practice developed because of the lack of Orthros before the liturgy.

good observation, even the Carpatho Russian Bishops (ACROD) don't vest in front of the people.  I don't think the Ukrainian bishops do it too often either, or at all.  I would tend to connect the vesting of the bishop in the middle of the church as a Russian practice and those close to Russians... I don't know how they do it in Ukraine, I just know I've never seen it done in the UOC USA
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2011, 12:29:56 PM »


Ukrainian bishops DO vest in the nave.

I always find it very moving.
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2011, 12:37:39 PM »

I don't think it's done in the Bulgarian Church. I have seen it at a ROCOR monastery a few times. It is very moving. Smiley

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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2011, 01:41:50 PM »


Ukrainian bishops DO vest in the nave.

I always find it very moving.

Cool, I just never saw one do that.  Most of the time I've just seen it done in the altar or sacristy.  Probably depends on the situation.  Even OCA bishops I've vested in an area not in the middle of the church. 
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2011, 01:57:40 PM »

I belong to a very small parish, and we do not have a deacon. Also, until lately, we did not have many visits from our bishop, so it is a big deal when he comes.  I was told by my priest, that since we don't have a deacon, we can't celebrate a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, with vesting and other special parts of the service, the Hierarch serves more as the priest would do.  So we always invite a deacon from somewhere, so that we can  celebrate the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.   Could it be that sometimes you see a Divine Liturgy with a bishop that is not the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy?
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2011, 02:05:23 PM »


That's new to me.  We don't have a deacon.  Sometimes one visits, but, most often when our bishop visits, there is no deacon.
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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2011, 02:28:00 PM »

An important thing to remember is that an Hierarchical Divine Liturgy is not a "normal" Divine Liturgy with extra bits, but that what most of us consider a "normal" Liturgy is an Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with bits taken out. In other words, the Bishop vests in public because that is the original practice of the Church. Vesting in the sanctuary "before" the Liturgy is the newer development.

In the ancient Liturgy, that is best preserved in the so-called Hierarchical Liturgy, the faithful assembled first, then there was the "entrance of the celebrant"; i.e. the Bishop, followed by his vesting.

"When the president of the assembly enters, he says peace be with all of you," says John Chrysostom - confirming that this is the ancient practice. Therefore, when ialmisry says that the image is perfectly captured in the 1st/2nd century Saint Ignatius we should not be surprised at all. It is part of the Liturgy, hence my quote-marks around the word "before" above.

As to why it is done, Liza gives some reasons relating to the symbolism of the act. Even more important is the fact that for the entrance of the celebrant to have any meaning, the faithful must be assembled first to witness it. This is the ancient practice of the Church, and provides a gentle reminder about not turning up to the Liturgy late: we are simply missing out on the fullness of Orthodox worship by doing so.

I recommend Fr Alexander Schmemann's book "The Eucharist" for more on this, and in particular the chapter titled "The Sacrament of the Entrance" for more detail on the importance and reasons behind the practice of public vesting. I don't know, but you could even try Googling the chapter's title and the author to see if there are any online versions of this chapter at least.
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« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2011, 03:35:24 PM »

An important thing to remember is that an Hierarchical Divine Liturgy is not a "normal" Divine Liturgy with extra bits, but that what most of us consider a "normal" Liturgy is an Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with bits taken out. In other words, the Bishop vests in public because that is the original practice of the Church. Vesting in the sanctuary "before" the Liturgy is the newer development.

In the ancient Liturgy, that is best preserved in the so-called Hierarchical Liturgy, the faithful assembled first, then there was the "entrance of the celebrant"; i.e. the Bishop, followed by his vesting.

"When the president of the assembly enters, he says peace be with all of you," says John Chrysostom - confirming that this is the ancient practice.

This is true but, remember that there was a procession to the church so, the vesting did not occur inside the church. The Bishop was fully vested when he arrived at the church. He also did not have the Sakkos or the crown at this point in liturgical history. The vesting outside is some sort of vestige to this practice.
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2011, 09:04:45 PM »


Ukrainian bishops DO vest in the nave.

I always find it very moving.

Cool, I just never saw one do that.  Most of the time I've just seen it done in the altar or sacristy.  Probably depends on the situation.  Even OCA bishops I've vested in an area not in the middle of the church. 
Did you see services in the Diocese of the West? Bishop Benjamin, or Bishop Tikhon is always vested OUTSIDE.
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2011, 01:20:34 PM »

Another understanding of why he vests in the middle of the church is this:  His vestments are a symbol of the authority conferred on him.  However, without the "axios" of the people (and obviously the will and grace of God), he would have no authority.  So the  bishop's vesting in the middle of the church is symbolic of his authority, in a sense, being conferred and arising from the people.  Yes, the grace of the Holy Spirit fulfills that which is lacking and actually consecrates the bishop, but without the people's assent, the bishop wouldn't even be standing there.  This thought should evoke humility in the bishop.
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2011, 02:07:30 PM »


Often during the Liturgy the Bishop (clergy) represent Christ.



How often?
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2011, 02:08:40 PM »


Ukrainian bishops DO vest in the nave.

I always find it very moving.

Cool, I just never saw one do that.  Most of the time I've just seen it done in the altar or sacristy.  Probably depends on the situation.  Even OCA bishops I've vested in an area not in the middle of the church. 
Did you see services in the Diocese of the West? Bishop Benjamin, or Bishop Tikhon is always vested OUTSIDE.
I never saw a OCA bishop vested anywhere but outside, including the metropolitan (though I don't think I ever saw Met. Herman vested).
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2011, 02:09:13 PM »


Often during the Liturgy the Bishop (clergy) represent Christ.



How often?
often enough.
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2011, 02:15:34 PM »


Often during the Liturgy the Bishop (clergy) represent Christ.



How often?
often enough.

How often and when?  If you can't reply to my serious questions then leave me alone please and allow someone who is willing to reply.

M.
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2011, 02:58:35 PM »

An important thing to remember is that an Hierarchical Divine Liturgy is not a "normal" Divine Liturgy with extra bits, but that what most of us consider a "normal" Liturgy is an Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with bits taken out. In other words, the Bishop vests in public because that is the original practice of the Church. Vesting in the sanctuary "before" the Liturgy is the newer development.

In the ancient Liturgy, that is best preserved in the so-called Hierarchical Liturgy, the faithful assembled first, then there was the "entrance of the celebrant"; i.e. the Bishop, followed by his vesting.

"When the president of the assembly enters, he says peace be with all of you," says John Chrysostom - confirming that this is the ancient practice.

This is true but, remember that there was a procession to the church so, the vesting did not occur inside the church. The Bishop was fully vested when he arrived at the church. He also did not have the Sakkos or the crown at this point in liturgical history. The vesting outside is some sort of vestige to this practice.

True. The first part of the liturgy took place outside the Church. The Little Entrance was originally when everyone entered the nave. So all the vesting occurred outside.
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« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2011, 04:35:07 PM »


Ukrainian bishops DO vest in the nave.

I always find it very moving.

Cool, I just never saw one do that.  Most of the time I've just seen it done in the altar or sacristy.  Probably depends on the situation.  Even OCA bishops I've vested in an area not in the middle of the church. 
Did you see services in the Diocese of the West? Bishop Benjamin, or Bishop Tikhon is always vested OUTSIDE.
I never saw a OCA bishop vested anywhere but outside, including the metropolitan (though I don't think I ever saw Met. Herman vested).

Isa, I am not making that up, I've vested two OCA bishops in the sacristry before at the same time, well, one then the other. 
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2011, 04:38:23 PM »

I belong to a very small parish, and we do not have a deacon. Also, until lately, we did not have many visits from our bishop, so it is a big deal when he comes.  I was told by my priest, that since we don't have a deacon, we can't celebrate a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, with vesting and other special parts of the service, the Hierarch serves more as the priest would do.  So we always invite a deacon from somewhere, so that we can  celebrate the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.   Could it be that sometimes you see a Divine Liturgy with a bishop that is not the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy?

I dunno about the deacon part.  But I've been to enough liturgies where the bishop/metropolitan has a semi hierarchical liturgy.  No prayers in the middle of the church, no trikiri/dikiri etc.. It happens and remember economia is left up to the bishop and since he's the boss/cheif priest of the church in his diocese anyway, he kinda of gets to serve  how he wants Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2011, 06:00:31 PM »


Ukrainian bishops DO vest in the nave.

I always find it very moving.

Cool, I just never saw one do that.  Most of the time I've just seen it done in the altar or sacristy.  Probably depends on the situation.  Even OCA bishops I've vested in an area not in the middle of the church. 
Did you see services in the Diocese of the West? Bishop Benjamin, or Bishop Tikhon is always vested OUTSIDE.
I never saw a OCA bishop vested anywhere but outside, including the metropolitan (though I don't think I ever saw Met. Herman vested).

Isa, I am not making that up, I've vested two OCA bishops in the sacristry before at the same time, well, one then the other. 

It all depends on the situation. While I was at St. Vladimir's (OCA) Seminary there was no constant rule. Vesting of the bishop on the ambvon most often was reserved for festal liturgies or for hierarchs who did not regularly visit.
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« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2011, 06:25:26 PM »


Ukrainian bishops DO vest in the nave.

I always find it very moving.

Cool, I just never saw one do that.  Most of the time I've just seen it done in the altar or sacristy.  Probably depends on the situation.  Even OCA bishops I've vested in an area not in the middle of the church. 
Did you see services in the Diocese of the West? Bishop Benjamin, or Bishop Tikhon is always vested OUTSIDE.
I never saw a OCA bishop vested anywhere but outside, including the metropolitan (though I don't think I ever saw Met. Herman vested).

Isa, I am not making that up, I've vested two OCA bishops in the sacristry before at the same time, well, one then the other. 
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply it never happens, just it can't be the absolute practice, as I've seen otherwise.  Now that I think of it, however, I think Bp. Boris didn't vest in the nave when he served at Pascha (our priest collapsed at Good Friday Services), but then he didn't celebrate as a bishop.
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« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2011, 12:38:00 PM »

(our priest collapsed at Good Friday Services)

What happened?   Huh    Sad
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