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Author Topic: Women Serving the Orthodox Church  (Read 1569 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2013, 09:30:10 PM »

When I was an altar boy at the Greek Orthodox Church it was ok to go behind the altar to get to yhe other side, but we were not supposed to go in front of it,and that nobody but the Priest or ordained clergy were supposed to .

So it is not just women who are not supposed to be there.

there is difference between an altar and the part of the altar between the altar table and the royal doors. Altar is considered everything behind the iconostasis, and there are people who can have a blessing to be in it. Nobody except clergy (those who are serving the Liturgy such as priests, bishops, etc) can stand between the altar table and the royal doors (the doors in the middle through which only clergy can enter), while others who assist such as altar boys (and even deacons I believe they are called) cannot do so. Those who have a blessing to "assist" during the Liturgy can be in the altar except in that specific area (between the royal doors and the altar table) where priest stands for the most of time during Liturgy.

I hope that wasn't confusing. Grin

those who are able, can read "The law of God" by Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy...it discusses this topic along other basic concepts about Orthodox Christianity.

Absolutely correct. Only priests and bishops are permitted to stand before the Holy Table during the ministration of the Liturgy, and only bishops are permitted to, at all times, enter through the Royal Doors. Priests do so at appropriate times, but sometimes also use the deacon's doors. Bishops never, liturgically, go through the deacon's doors (that I can remember).

Though, deacons do occasionally move through the Royal Doors. Such times I've observed is the entrances (whether with the Gospel Book or with the censor, such as at Great Vespers). Also when the go to read the Gospel at the Liturgy, at "O Lord, save the pious." and at the censing during the Cherubic Hymn. Also when they bring in/take out the Holy Gifts for the communion of the faithful.

During Bright Week, clergy always enter and leave the altar through the Royal Doors, symbolizing that the Kingdom is open to all (which is why the Royal Doors and Deacons Doors are kept open all the time for the entire week).

EDIT: There are also times during which the deacon stands in front of the Holy Table, such as each censing (when censing around the altar table) and also at "Thine Own of Thine Own..." at the Liturgy when they elevate the Gifts...actually stepping in front of the celebrant (being a priest or bishop) to do so, as the celebrant stands behind them with arms raised.

I remember one time bishop came and there were 2-3 priest with 1-2 deacons. One deacon made a mistake of going through the royal doors by mistake...I remember one of the priests there saying half-jokingly that this deacon will have to become a priest now. Cheesy
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« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2013, 10:45:40 AM »

When my husband was made a subdeacon, he was so nervous that he inadvertently tried to go out the Royal Doors. Metropolitan Jonah grabbed him by the shoulder and said, "Not yet!"
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« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2013, 10:56:55 AM »

When my husband was made a subdeacon, he was so nervous that he inadvertently tried to go out the Royal Doors. Metropolitan Jonah grabbed him by the shoulder and said, "Not yet!"

I almost did it once when going to pick up the epistle. Our priest stopped me and made a joke which I can't exactly recall - all that stuck in my memory was the embarrassment. The 'doors' in that case were nothing more than a gap between the two icons we set up in place of an iconostasis, but even so...

James

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« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2013, 01:14:19 PM »

AFAIK, the king also goes through the royal doors for communion and stands before the altar, communing as the priests.
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« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2013, 02:11:03 PM »

AFAIK, the king also goes through the royal doors for communion and stands before the altar, communing as the priests.

in the ancient church yes.  im not sure about modern times. 

canon 69 of Penthekte talks about this whole situation. 
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« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2013, 06:13:38 PM »

AFAIK, the king also goes through the royal doors for communion and stands before the altar, communing as the priests.

in the ancient church yes.  im not sure about modern times. 


Are there any kings left?
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« Reply #51 on: March 04, 2013, 06:22:45 PM »

AFAIK, the king also goes through the royal doors for communion and stands before the altar, communing as the priests.

in the ancient church yes.  im not sure about modern times. 


Are there any kings left?

Orthodox ones? Greece had one until 1967, though I've never heard of him doing that.
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« Reply #52 on: March 04, 2013, 06:51:38 PM »

AFAIK, the king also goes through the royal doors for communion and stands before the altar, communing as the priests.

in the ancient church yes.  im not sure about modern times. 


Are there any kings left?

Orthodox ones? Greece had one until 1967, though I've never heard of him doing that.

Serbia has a "prince"...but that's beside the point I guess...
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« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2013, 09:10:17 PM »

It's kind of not in the sense that he could be coronated king at any time, so the conjecture at this point is very real.
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« Reply #54 on: March 05, 2013, 12:28:55 AM »

AFAIK, the king also goes through the royal doors for communion and stands before the altar, communing as the priests.

in the ancient church yes.  im not sure about modern times. 


Are there any kings left?

Orthodox ones? Greece had one until 1967, though I've never heard of him doing that.

I don't think the Church of Greece ever afforded that privilege to their kings.

Although King Constantine II fled Greece in December, 1967, after a failed and amateurish coupe attempt against "The Colonels" regiem, I think the Greek Monarchy was abolished in 1974 through a plebiscite, when Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis assured the King he would handle everything, so that he wouldn't have to campaign, but Karamanlis actually worked covertly in support of the abolition of it.

I think the poster is referring to privileges of the Tsars within the Church of Russia.  I don't know about Romania, Serbia (Yugoslavia), Bulgaria, or, Georgia, either.
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« Reply #55 on: March 05, 2013, 12:17:24 PM »

Quote
I think the Greek Monarchy was abolished in 1974 through a plebiscite, when Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis assured the King he would handle everything, so that he wouldn't have to campaign, but Karamanlis actually worked covertly in support of the abolition of it.

The fact that the result of that referendum in favor of abolishing the monarchy was more than 75% of the votes cast, diminishes the role of any political machinations to influence the result. Greeks have been renowned since ancient times for eagerly putting their leaders on pedestals, and just as swiftly tearing them down once they've fallen out of favor.

The Russian tsars modeled their MO on the Byzantine emperors, adopting many of the symbols and trappings of the Empire. The Tsar and Tsaritsa wore Byzantine-style dress at their coronation, and the Tsar entered the altar to receive Communion during the coronation liturgy. The affectionate titles for the Tsar and Tsaritsa were Batiushka and Matushka, the very same titles used to this day for a Russian priest and his wife. Of course, this did not mean that the Tsar was a member of clergy, but that he was the "father" of the people.
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