Author Topic: Epistle Reading  (Read 2491 times)

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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")

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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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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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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 »