Author Topic: Hand position  (Read 1384 times)

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Offline Ansgar

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Hand position
« on: September 30, 2012, 03:08:27 PM »
I just thought about something.
In catholic churches you often see people and clergy praying with their hands folded like this:

However, I have rarely seen this done in orthodox churches (except a few laymen).
When did the West adopt this form of prayer and why did it not reach the East?

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Offline sheenj

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Re: Hand position
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2012, 03:24:38 PM »
I think I remember reading somewhere that it has to do with the way soldiers surrendered in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire versus the Western part. In the East, soldiers surrendered in the Orans position while in the West soldiers they surrendered with their hands together. Since praying is a form of surrendering to God, it was only natural that those in the East would pray in the Orans while those in the West would pray like shown in the picture.

Offline mike

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Re: Hand position
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2012, 03:28:24 PM »
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Offline mabsoota

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Re: Hand position
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2012, 04:00:46 PM »
this is like the coptic greeting at the kiss of peace in the liturgy.
each person should have one hand on the outside to show equality.
the 'kiss' should proceed from the altar (with the priest putting both hands outside, as the king on the right of the picture is doing)
and then the people passing the gesture among themselves.

i don't know if it appeared in africa and europe at the same time, though, maybe someone else knows.