Author Topic: Epistle Reading  (Read 2330 times)

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Offline JamesRottnek

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Epistle Reading
« on: February 08, 2012, 02:50:36 AM »
Why do we sit during the epistle reading?
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 06:42:16 AM »
Because there are pews.  ;)


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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 10:24:07 AM »
I wonder if it's because they wanted to distinguish it from the importance of the Gospel? Just a guess on my part.
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 11:15:01 AM »
The only parishes I've attended that sit during the Epistle are those that have pews. Parishes that only have seating along the sides will stand for the entire Liturgy.
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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 11:46:00 AM »

Even with pews, we have people stand. 

It's not strictly enforced and nobody cares, or should care, what others are doing.

However, we are told to definitely stand at certain points of the Liturgy - Gospel Reading, etc.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 12:12:13 PM »
No one has ever sat in my parish, when I first saw it, I was floored.

Offline AWR

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 01:05:53 PM »
I was told by my priest, that only the priests may sit during the epistle reading because his office is sort of like the Apostles'.  No one else should sit, but many people just do as the priest does.

Offline genesisone

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 01:07:33 PM »
No one has ever sat in my parish, when I first saw it, I was floored.
Pews are there to keep you off the floor.  ;D

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 01:17:20 PM »
I was told by my priest, that only the priests may sit during the epistle reading because his office is sort of like the Apostles'.  No one else should sit, but many people just do as the priest does.

I should have been clear, the priest would always retreat behind the Altar and sit during the epistle. In our parish, the lay people did not. although, like lemmings they always follow the lead of the Pani-matka/Matuska in the first pew, so I suppose if the next Pani-matka sits...well they will sit. I always laugh when I remember my late mother getting so wrapped up in thought that she didn't exit immediately after Liturgy. It was hilarious watching the folks downstairs from my perch at the cantor's lectern in the choir loft.

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 01:18:39 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

In the Ethiopian jurisdiction, we don't ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Offline Hiwot

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2012, 01:21:56 PM »
No one has ever sat in my parish, when I first saw it, I was floored.
Pews are there to keep you off the floor.  ;D

good one! ;D

I think I would be floored as well if I were to see people start to sit during the readings, When I read the question I was like " what?" :)
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2012, 01:28:11 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Quote
In the Ethiopian jurisdiction, we don't ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie


See. told y'all ;)

No one has ever sat in my parish, when I first saw it, I was floored.
Pews are there to keep you off the floor.  ;D

good one! ;D

I think I would be floored as well if I were to see people start to sit during the readings, When I read the question I was like " what?" :)


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Offline Hiwot

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 01:34:06 PM »
I was told by my priest, that only the priests may sit during the epistle reading because his office is sort of like the Apostles'.  No one else should sit, but many people just do as the priest does.

I should have been clear, the priest would always retreat behind the Altar and sit during the epistle. In our parish, the lay people did not. although, like lemmings they always follow the lead of the Pani-matka/Matuska in the first pew, so I suppose if the next Pani-matka sits...well they will sit. I always laugh when I remember my late mother getting so wrapped up in thought that she didn't exit immediately after Liturgy. It was hilarious watching the folks downstairs from my perch at the cantor's lectern in the choir loft.

you reminded me of when I was a child, and went to the liturgy it was so long before it starts and after so me and my sister will sit on some part of it. the old ladys will say to us, as we lingered between sitting down on the floor and getting up varying comands would be told to us: now get up, you can not sit now, now you can sit, get up, so we figured its easier if we follow one of the leading old lady. she will indicate with her hand for us to sit and extend her prayer staff when we have to get up. untill we realy got it. but before we did got , one time she forgot about us, and went on standing and my sister passed out. lol and the lady said if you can not stand up there is no problem you can sit anytime you do not feel well, she was very distressed that she forgot about us waiting for her to indicate when to sit.  :)
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 01:41:53 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus CHrist!



so we figured its easier if we follow one of the leading old lady.

That is what I've always done ;)

I am a fit young man, 90 year old Ethiopian women continually motivate (and brow beat) me to ! Ten-i-sue Le-se-lot (stand up for prayer!)..

Of course I have always wondered why folks seem to be a bit backwards, as habitually whenever the Deacon calls for us to stand up for prayer, that is exactly when some elderly, ill, or tired folks momentarily take a seat for a rest, it is kind of weird.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 01:42:20 PM by HabteSelassie »
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2012, 01:53:35 PM »
Humans are indeed unique as a species and our peculiarities do cross economic, cultural and religious borders with impunity. We tend to forget that here from time to time!

Offline Hiwot

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 02:08:12 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus CHrist!



so we figured its easier if we follow one of the leading old lady.

That is what I've always done ;)

I am a fit young man, 90 year old Ethiopian women continually motivate (and brow beat) me to ! Ten-i-sue Le-se-lot (stand up for prayer!)..

Of course I have always wondered why folks seem to be a bit backwards, as habitually whenever the Deacon calls for us to stand up for prayer, that is exactly when some elderly, ill, or tired folks momentarily take a seat for a rest, it is kind of weird.

stay blessed,
habte selassie



LOL thats funny, yes the old ladies do that lol and the others: they are probably thinking there is plenty of that call , that will come ( as the decon will say a lot of 'rise up for prayer!' before the liturgy is done) that they can stand up for. :)
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline Hiwot

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2012, 02:08:42 PM »
Humans are indeed unique as a species and our peculiarities do cross economic, cultural and religious borders with impunity. We tend to forget that here from time to time!
+1
Indeed!
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2012, 10:50:49 PM »
Why do we sit during the epistle reading?

Some need to because they simply cannot stand, most others are just lazy. My opinion, of course.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2012, 11:37:33 PM »
Why do we sit during the epistle reading?

Some need to because they simply cannot stand, most others are just lazy. My opinion, of course.

I suppose so.  Though, I think there are others like me who sit because everyone else, en masse, sits down for the Epistle (and I'd rather not draw a bunch of attention to myself and distract from the Epistle).
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2012, 04:04:35 AM »
We attend a Greek Orthodox Church here since we are so from our EOTC Church. They have pews, and alas, an organ too! But it's a wonderful Church, full of faithful Christian people. At first I wasn't used to wearing shoes and sitting down alot. In fact, I used to stand the whole time. But then I noticed that the Priest would actually motion for us to sit down at specific times, so I certainly didn't want to ignore the Priest. He always tells us when to stand and when to sit. The only problem is that now I am quite spoiled and will not be used to standing for 5 hours whenever I make it back to our own EOTC Church! lol.



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Offline Alpo

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2012, 05:52:17 AM »
The only problem is that now I am quite spoiled and will not be used to standing for 5 hours whenever I make it back to our own EOTC Church! lol.

Regular Ethiopian Divine Liturgy takes 5 hours? Because the service is long or because there are lots of communing parishioners?

A Finnish liturgy takes about 2 hours. Some people seem to sit at some point but most people stand the whole service except during the sermons. Somewhere here some people wrote that it's inappropriate to sit on the floor but Finns do if there aren't any pews left.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 05:53:16 AM by Alpo »

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2012, 06:16:15 AM »
The only problem is that now I am quite spoiled and will not be used to standing for 5 hours whenever I make it back to our own EOTC Church! lol.

Regular Ethiopian Divine Liturgy takes 5 hours? Because the service is long or because there are lots of communing parishioners?

A Finnish liturgy takes about 2 hours. Some people seem to sit at some point but most people stand the whole service except during the sermons. Somewhere here some people wrote that it's inappropriate to sit on the floor but Finns do if there aren't any pews left.

The actual Liturgy itself is probably two hours, but the pre-Litrugy prayers and the sermon afterwards (we do sit during the sermon) altogether last about 4-5 hours.


Selam
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2012, 10:22:17 AM »
i don't like sitting for the epistle, but I like getting up for the gospel.

Offline Basil 320

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2012, 11:33:57 AM »
Yes. "Wisdom, arise, let us hear the Holy Gospel..."
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 11:37:47 AM by Basil 320 »
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2012, 03:40:02 PM »
We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2012, 03:43:43 PM »
We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel

even on a sunday?  ???

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2012, 03:46:32 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel

even on a sunday?  ???

Yes, we also kneel and prostrate dozens of times on Sundays, hundreds even! (we don't have the Sunday prostration prohibitions of the Eastern Orthodox ;)  )

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 03:46:46 PM by HabteSelassie »
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2012, 03:53:38 PM »
Yes. "Wisdom, arise, let us hear the Holy Gospel..."

An interesting, trick question for our Koine translators or our OCS ones as well. Since many here hold a passionate hatred for pews, some even calling them an heretical (yikes) innovation, why then the need for the command to ARISE for the proclamation of the Holy Gospel? Seems redundant in that context?

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2012, 04:05:59 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Yes. "Wisdom, arise, let us hear the Holy Gospel..."

An interesting, trick question for our Koine translators or our OCS ones as well. Since many here hold a passionate hatred for pews, some even calling them an heretical (yikes) innovation, why then the need for the command to ARISE for the proclamation of the Holy Gospel? Seems redundant in that context?

Not to be confusing, but the "Stand Up For Prayer" chanted during the Liturgy is not in the context of pews or chairs because such language clearly predates the addition of chairs and pews into the Church, rather it is to call to those who are bowing, kneeling, or lying on the floor prostrated in prayer, and further to choreograph the worship service after the opposite directions have been given sporadically to "Bow for Prayer."

I think the vitriol against pews is a bit of self-righteous pontification, and in the Ethiopian tradition we have a delightful and ancient adaptation for those who hate pews but can't stand up for too long unassisted



Its also a liturgical musical instrument :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 04:06:51 PM by HabteSelassie »
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2012, 04:48:12 PM »
lol

Offline Basil 320

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2012, 05:28:24 PM »
Ah, but while we're told to "arise," our traditional practice is to have our heads bowed during the reading of the Gospel, out of respect for the "Word of God."
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2012, 10:25:13 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel

even on a sunday?  ???

Yes, we also kneel and prostrate dozens of times on Sundays, hundreds even! (we don't have the Sunday prostration prohibitions of the Eastern Orthodox ;)  )

stay blessed,
habte selassie

that was part of the 1st ecumenical council though wasn't it?

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2012, 11:38:25 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel

even on a sunday?  ???

Yes, we also kneel and prostrate dozens of times on Sundays, hundreds even! (we don't have the Sunday prostration prohibitions of the Eastern Orthodox ;)  )

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Really? That's interesting. The Coptic Church certainly maintains the ancient and universal tradition of not bending the knee on Sundays or during the Holy 50 (on paper anyways, if not always in practise)... Is it only the Ethiopian tradition that does not follow this, or are there others in the OO community that do not? Do you know at what point in history this practise was changed from the rite received from the Copts, and if particular cultural needs motivated it? Even when kneeling is permitted, we never kneel during the Gospel, but always stand for it. It sounds like an interesting cultural difference.

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2012, 12:15:22 AM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel

even on a sunday?  ???

Yes, we also kneel and prostrate dozens of times on Sundays, hundreds even! (we don't have the Sunday prostration prohibitions of the Eastern Orthodox ;)  )

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Really? That's interesting. The Coptic Church certainly maintains the ancient and universal tradition of not bending the knee on Sundays or during the Holy 50 (on paper anyways, if not always in practise)... Is it only the Ethiopian tradition that does not follow this, or are there others in the OO community that do not? Do you know at what point in history this practise was changed from the rite received from the Copts, and if particular cultural needs motivated it? Even when kneeling is permitted, we never kneel during the Gospel, but always stand for it. It sounds like an interesting cultural difference.

My understanding has been that prostrations are allowed and encouraged at all times by EOTC Christians except for the 50 days following Fasika (Pascha). I may be wrong though.


Selam
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Selam, +GMK+

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2012, 01:06:00 AM »
No one has ever sat in my parish, when I first saw it, I was floored.
Pews are there to keep you off the floor.  ;D

good one! ;D

I think I would be floored as well if I were to see people start to sit during the readings, When I read the question I was like " what?" :)
Good one! :laugh: I'd be floored, too, if I had to sit on the floor. ;D
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 01:06:35 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2012, 01:26:06 AM »
hmm sitting on the floor...i like it! Very ancient...  8)

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2012, 04:04:54 AM »
Prayer tipis/yurts/igloos/wigwams would be a pretty cool baptism of American native culture. We could all enter it to sit for the sermon.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 04:05:39 AM by NicholasMyra »
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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2012, 06:10:33 AM »
The only problem is that now I am quite spoiled and will not be used to standing for 5 hours whenever I make it back to our own EOTC Church! lol.

Regular Ethiopian Divine Liturgy takes 5 hours? Because the service is long or because there are lots of communing parishioners?

A Finnish liturgy takes about 2 hours. Some people seem to sit at some point but most people stand the whole service except during the sermons. Somewhere here some people wrote that it's inappropriate to sit on the floor but Finns do if there aren't any pews left.

In my parish, Orthros is about an hour, liturgy is two hours. Mom thinks it's a little bit odd that I like to go to three-hour services.  :)
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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #38 on: May 13, 2013, 02:55:45 PM »
I have never received instruction on this point, so this is just my observations and my opinion.  In my small OCA parish, practically everyone stands during the Epistle reading, but a few will sometimes sit.  If I am especially tired, I will choose the Epistle reading as a time to sit, but normally stand as an expression of unity of posture with the body of worshippers.  I sing in the choir and read (not ordained, not usually the Epistle, mostly Hours and Psalms), so I am typically standing anyway. At Vespers, I will sometimes sit for the Old Testament reading(s) (if someone else is reading) just because I believe one *should* sit for the OT and Epistle readings.  The reason I believe this is the same as the reason we should sit during the sermon, or if the life of a Saint is being read.  That is the time when we are receiving instruction.  Just as we would sit in a school classroom, we should sit in the classroom of the church.  My perspective is probably influenced by my being a convert from Roman Catholicism, where the universal practice (at least in this country) is to sit during the OT and Epistle, but I think my opinion holds valid for Orthodox worship as well.  The reason we stand during the Gospel, even though it is also instruction, is that the Gospel is in a special way "equivalent" to the Divine Logos, Jesus Christ, more so that the other parts of the Holy Scriptures.  We stand then out of reverence. 

On a related note, in my limited experience with OCA parishes, the general rule that the parishioners use to guide their own postures seems to be "Stand while the Royal Doors are open, sit while they are closed".  However, before I joined the choir at my current parish, I would always stand during Liturgy as long as there was at least one other person standing (usually a grandmother or grandfather with iron feet).  My former priest taught me that it is proper to stand regardless of whether the Doors are open or closed, and in particular it is absurd to sit during a Litany, which makes sense to me. 
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2013, 08:49:32 PM »
Why do we sit during the epistle reading?

Because we can. But at churches without pews, most people stand.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2013, 08:50:31 PM »
No one has ever sat in my parish, when I first saw it, I was floored.

Does anyone sit during the kathismata?
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2013, 08:53:53 PM »
Yes. "Wisdom, arise, let us hear the Holy Gospel..."

Notice the lack of response where the people sing, "We've been standing for two hours already before the Lord."
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2013, 08:54:34 PM »
We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel

even on a sunday?  ???

Yes. Romanians kneel all the time.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2013, 08:55:48 PM »
Yes. "Wisdom, arise, let us hear the Holy Gospel..."

An interesting, trick question for our Koine translators or our OCS ones as well. Since many here hold a passionate hatred for pews, some even calling them an heretical (yikes) innovation, why then the need for the command to ARISE for the proclamation of the Holy Gospel? Seems redundant in that context?

Because, back in the fourth century (or "back in the day"), people sat for the epistle.
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Offline asinnerr

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #44 on: May 21, 2013, 05:23:46 PM »
We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel

even on a sunday?  ???

Yes. Romanians kneel all the time.

A useful and interesting question here is, what do you mean by "kneel"?  If both of your knees are on the ground, are you therefore by definition "kneeling"?  In my Roman Catholic experience, that would certainly be a "yes".  However, I read in a primer of Orthodox faith and worship (which I think was from a Greek-American source) that in the context of Orthodox worship, "kneeling" refers to the posture in which one's knees, hands, and forehead are ALL touching the ground.  This is what most would call "prostration".  According to that source, the posture in which one's knees are on the ground, but the body is vertical from the knees up, is more properly referred to as "standing on one's knees".  So, if there is a prohibition against "kneeling" on Sundays and during the 50 days, does that refer only to "prostrations", or also to "standing on one's knees".  And if the priest says, "on bended knee let us pray...", what exactly is called for? 

I'm not looking for any definitive answers to these questions, just trying to point out an area of ambiguity. 
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2013, 07:23:05 PM »
back in the fourth century (or "back in the day")

Only on oc.net . . .

Fantastic.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #46 on: July 21, 2013, 04:48:14 AM »
Yes. "Wisdom, arise, let us hear the Holy Gospel..."

An interesting, trick question for our Koine translators or our OCS ones as well. Since many here hold a passionate hatred for pews, some even calling them an heretical (yikes) innovation, why then the need for the command to ARISE for the proclamation of the Holy Gospel? Seems redundant in that context?

Because, back in the fourth century (or "back in the day"), people sat for the epistle.

I can't see how it is that the congregation sat during the Epistle---typically, there would not be enough seats, "stathidia."  The churches did not have pews, just a few seats along the walls of the nave for the aged and infirmed who physically could not stand for the duration of the Divine Services.  It's been my understanding, and I can't recall the source, but I thought "arise," "orthi,"supported "Sophia," "Wisdom," thus, there is wisdom herein, therefore, "arise"= raise your attentiveness, or be more alert, because the Word of God is about to be presented.  I'm not aware of sitting in the early church, but I won't argue the point, just throwing this understanding out for comment.
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Offline Yurysprudentsiya

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #47 on: July 21, 2013, 07:24:31 AM »
Yes. "Wisdom, arise, let us hear the Holy Gospel..."

An interesting, trick question for our Koine translators or our OCS ones as well. Since many here hold a passionate hatred for pews, some even calling them an heretical (yikes) innovation, why then the need for the command to ARISE for the proclamation of the Holy Gospel? Seems redundant in that context?

Because, back in the fourth century (or "back in the day"), people sat for the epistle.

I can't see how it is that the congregation sat during the Epistle---typically, there would not be enough seats, "stathidia."  The churches did not have pews, just a few seats along the walls of the nave for the aged and infirmed who physically could not stand for the duration of the Divine Services.  It's been my understanding, and I can't recall the source, but I thought "arise," "orthi,"supported "Sophia," "Wisdom," thus, there is wisdom herein, therefore, "arise"= raise your attentiveness, or be more alert, because the Word of God is about to be presented.  I'm not aware of sitting in the early church, but I won't argue the point, just throwing this understanding out for comment.

I have been in parishes without pews where people simply sit on the floor during these times.  I assumed that is why the churches put rugs down.

Offline Alpo

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #48 on: July 21, 2013, 07:43:24 AM »
With the exception of elderly people I don't think I have ever seen anyone sitting during epistle.

Offline mabsoota

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #49 on: July 21, 2013, 12:32:50 PM »
we have to stand when the priest is censing (often continues into the first epistle reading - we always have 2 of these) and after that we can sit, unless the gospel is being read or the priest or deacon has said stand, or we are singing (e.g. the Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal).

i try not to stand if everyone else is sitting (trying not to be hyperdox!)
also i sit more than everyone else if i have some injury or illness.
about the kneeling on sunday thing, some of the egyptian/sudanese/british etc. copts do it, and i assume it's because people immigrated from countries where their main liturgy was friday because sunday was a normal working day.

one other thing about copts sitting down - many of them are actually in semi prostration position, but the abundance of chairs/pews prevents proper prostration.
in one church i know well, there is a regular english liturgy in the adjoining church hall, and after the sermon (which is after the gospel), all the chairs are pulled away  :) for the rest of the liturgy. then i see several people prostrating (yes, on a sunday...) when they otherwise would have been sitting in the chairs with their heads bowed.

ethiopians/eritreans in uk are most likely to be seen on their knees (prostration) than in any other posture as far as i can tell!
i don't know why that is, but i also break the 'rule' and kneel (prostrate) on entering an eritrean church as they seem to assume people who don't do this are not orthodox! you have to do it 3 times, and of course you leave your shoes at the church entrance.
i assume ethiopians living in sweden in the winter either wear 3 pairs of socks or have very good heating!
does this frequent prostration in ethiopian/eritrean churches happen in america/africa?

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #50 on: July 21, 2013, 11:44:29 PM »
Yes. "Wisdom, arise, let us hear the Holy Gospel..."

An interesting, trick question for our Koine translators or our OCS ones as well. Since many here hold a passionate hatred for pews, some even calling them an heretical (yikes) innovation, why then the need for the command to ARISE for the proclamation of the Holy Gospel? Seems redundant in that context?

Because, back in the fourth century (or "back in the day"), people sat for the epistle.

I can't see how it is that the congregation sat during the Epistle---typically, there would not be enough seats, "stathidia."  The churches did not have pews, just a few seats along the walls of the nave for the aged and infirmed who physically could not stand for the duration of the Divine Services.  It's been my understanding, and I can't recall the source, but I thought "arise," "orthi,"supported "Sophia," "Wisdom," thus, there is wisdom herein, therefore, "arise"= raise your attentiveness, or be more alert, because the Word of God is about to be presented.  I'm not aware of sitting in the early church, but I won't argue the point, just throwing this understanding out for comment.

The Desert Fathers sat on mats on the floor.
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If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
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I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2013, 04:06:39 PM »
The Desert Fathers sat on mats on the floor.

Indeed. Some of the ancient liturgies have the deacon calling out "You who are seated, stand," so sitting was obviously common in ancient times as well. They just sat on the floor rather than on pews or stasidia. Basil's ""arise"= raise your attentiveness" is a nice theological interpretation, but I think it's safe to assume that it also simply meant "stand up".

As for the OP, the answer is quite simple: we should stand for prayer but may sit for instruction. During the readings - OT, Epistles, Kathismata, Synaxarion readings - and the sermon we are passive listeners, not active participants. For that reason we may sit. The Gospel - the only book kept on the holy altar - is the exception, and our standing in reverence reflects this.

Offline Romaios

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Re: Epistle Reading
« Reply #52 on: July 27, 2013, 04:12:26 PM »
Quote from: Rule of St. Benedict (+543), Chapter IX
Duo responsoria sine Gloria dicantur; post tertiam vero lectionem, qui cantat dicat Gloriam. Quam dum incipit cantor dicere, mox omnes de sedilia sua surgant ob honorem et reverentiam sanctæ Trinitatis.

Let two of the responsories be said without the Gloria, but after the third lesson, let him who is chanting say the Gloria. When the cantor beginneth to sing it, let all rise at once from their seats in honor and reverence of the Blessed Trinity.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 04:13:40 PM by Romaios »