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Author Topic: Question about Orthodox Church Structures.  (Read 483 times) Average Rating: 0
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quietmorning
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« on: December 22, 2011, 09:37:03 PM »

My church is in the very very early stages of maybe hopefully, God willing +  - building a church. 

I've only been to a few Orthodox Churches since I've been chrismated last year.  Is it in general practice to have a room or small chapel or prayer corner specifically for someone to come in to pray?  If so, is the small room usually or ever dedicated to some purpose of prayer? 

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2011, 09:47:45 PM »

My church has a small chapel on the side of the building. I don't think it's open every day, but it is where we have the weekday liturgies, when it's time for them.
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2011, 09:49:40 PM »

Biro, is there any way you could forward me a picture of the room?  I'd like to offer the idea to my priest - and perhaps have a place like this built into new home.
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2011, 09:56:11 PM »

This is the only picture I have of it so far. The chapel is named for St. Andrew. You can't see his icon in the photo, it's in a stand by the door. This is the view from the back of the room, where I sat for a weekday liturgy, I believe in November. Thanks.  angel

On the right is the chanter. In front is the iconostasis. On the left, in yellow, is the priest, handing out the antidoron. It's a small room, but very beautiful.

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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2011, 10:03:08 PM »

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Is it in general practice to have a room or small chapel or prayer corner specifically for someone to come in to pray?  If so, is the small room usually or ever dedicated to some purpose of prayer?  

In my experience, it is not general practice in parish churches (far more common in RC and traditional Anglican churches, with their often very beautiful Lady Chapels), but I can't see why it can't be done in an Orthodox church. Orthodox practice is usually that folks simply enter the church, find a suitable place to sit or stand. Prayer before a particular icon, either hung or painted on the wall, or the iconostasis, is usually the norm.

Such a side chapel would not contain an altar, as Orthodox altars are located behind the iconostasis, unless the side chapel is a miniature nave with iconostasis like the one biro has described. Such an altar would be consecrated and used from time to time, when more than one liturgy needs to be served within one day, such as in very large parishes on great feasts, where more than one priest is available to serve.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2011, 10:03:22 PM »

I agree it is very beautiful!
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2011, 11:22:18 PM »

My parish has a small chapel, but it's more like a smaller church building than an addition to the main temple. It has an altar and iconostasis. Weekday services are done in it. Only Sunday and Great Feast liturgies are done in the main church. I believe that parishioners are given keys to the chapel to enter and pray when they want.
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 12:50:09 AM »

My church is in the very very early stages of maybe hopefully, God willing +  - building a church. 

I've only been to a few Orthodox Churches since I've been chrismated last year.  Is it in general practice to have a room or small chapel or prayer corner specifically for someone to come in to pray?  If so, is the small room usually or ever dedicated to some purpose of prayer? 

Thanks!
The Russian Cathedral here has a small, seperate shrine with an icon of the Protection of the Theotokos an space for a few people, next to the Cathedral, which is left open at all times.  I stop by whenever I can to light a candle and pray.
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2011, 04:34:26 AM »

Some parishes in Poland have also a separate Churches in the basements of the Church buildings when services are done in Winter or when there are 2 or 3 Sunday Liturgies at particular parish. But I don't think they are open all the time.
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