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Author Topic: Crossing oneself when holy doors open?  (Read 859 times) Average Rating: 0
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scamandrius
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« on: September 22, 2013, 11:05:20 PM »

Is crossing oneself during the opening of the Holy Doors during certain times of the DL/Vespers/Orthros an act of personal piety or part of established customs?
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2013, 11:08:58 PM »

In my observation, the most frequent reaction is bowing, not crossing oneself, both at the opening and closing of the Royal Doors.
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2013, 11:20:45 PM »

Crossing one self is a silent prayer and should be accompanied by a silent prayer, even if it is an assent to what the priest is saying or doing.  I bow as the Beautiful Gates are opened, but I could cross myself and say my own prayer if I felt so motivated.  

Typically, one would cross one self at the mention of the Holy Trinity and the Theotokos; but what of the words of Institution?  How about as an assent to the petitions of the Divine Services? 

Orthodox worship is not so structured that we cannot be moved by our own personal feelings to cross ourselves, or venerate an Icon.  The church does not teach that you must or shouldn't cross yourself at any point in the Divine Services, except perhaps for the practice of not crossing one self during the reading of the Six Psalms, due to respect for the traditional practice not to move during their recitation.
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2013, 11:25:02 PM »

Crossing one self is a silent prayer and should be accompanied by a silent prayer, even if it is an assent to what the priest is saying or doing.  I bow as the Beautiful Gates are opened, but I could cross myself and say my own prayer if I felt so motivated.

I've actually never heard this before.
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 07:28:19 AM »

It is silent.  Wink
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 07:31:26 AM »

Crossing one self is a silent prayer and should be accompanied by a silent prayer, even if it is an assent to what the priest is saying or doing.  I bow as the Beautiful Gates are opened, but I could cross myself and say my own prayer if I felt so motivated.  

Typically, one would cross one self at the mention of the Holy Trinity and the Theotokos; but what of the words of Institution?  How about as an assent to the petitions of the Divine Services? 

Orthodox worship is not so structured that we cannot be moved by our own personal feelings to cross ourselves, or venerate an Icon.  The church does not teach that you must or shouldn't cross yourself at any point in the Divine Services, except perhaps for the practice of not crossing one self during the reading of the Six Psalms, due to respect for the traditional practice not to move during their recitation.

That's why I asked if there was a traditional practice or if it was motivated by personal piety.
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 07:47:18 AM »

That's why I asked if there was a traditional practice or if it was motivated by personal piety.

What is the difference?
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 10:05:02 AM »

That's why I asked if there was a traditional practice or if it was motivated by personal piety.

What is the difference?

I agree.  What is the difference?  Traditional practice usually forms out of piety.

I bow at opening and closing of the Royal Gates.

I was taught that when the bishop/priest gives a blessing with his hand from the ambo, one simply bows. 
When they give the blessing holding the Cross, then one crosses themselves and then bows....just as you would cross yourself before kissing the Cross or an icon.

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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 01:52:57 PM »

I've never seen or heard about crossing oneself during the opening of the Holy Doors.
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 06:49:05 PM »

I've never seen or heard about crossing oneself during the opening of the Holy Doors.

Me neither.  Huh
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 09:04:43 PM »

I've never heard of crossing oneself anytime the doors are opened or closed, but I've always crossed myself the first time they were opened for the beginning of a service.  This has more to do with the ringing of the bells at the beginning of a service than it does with the doors themselves. 
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2013, 10:11:56 PM »

I've never heard of crossing oneself anytime the doors are opened or closed, but I've always crossed myself the first time they were opened for the beginning of a service.  This has more to do with the ringing of the bells at the beginning of a service than it does with the doors themselves. 

We don't have bells.  Does the opening of the doors coincide with bell ringing beyond the invocation  "Blessed is the Kingdom...?"
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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2013, 11:22:41 PM »

The bells are rung during the Doxology, the ending of Orthros (matins).
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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2013, 04:50:13 AM »

We had bells from the tape when we didn't have real ones. Good times.
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« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2013, 07:43:20 AM »

That reminds me of a Liturgy I attended at least fifteen years ago in a particular parish.  The choir director showed up, but there was no choir, so he put a recording of the Liturgy in a cassette player.  When the priest began the service, he hit "play" and just kept fiddling with the volume and the fast-forward button so that the responses from the cassette substituted for responses to whatever the priest was singing live.

It was bizarre.  Apparently, it was a regular practice there, since the choir hated the director and vice versa.  Wink  But I've been there since, and while there are other issues, that isn't one of them anymore.   

 
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« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2013, 07:46:33 AM »

That reminds me of a Liturgy I attended at least fifteen years ago in a particular parish.  The choir director showed up, but there was no choir, so he put a recording of the Liturgy in a cassette player.  When the priest began the service, he hit "play" and just kept fiddling with the volume and the fast-forward button so that the responses from the cassette substituted for responses to whatever the priest was singing live.

It was bizarre.  Apparently, it was a regular practice there, since the choir hated the director and vice versa.  Wink  But I've been there since, and while there are other issues, that isn't one of them anymore.   

 

I bet the bishop would have put a stop to it pronto .... Bizarre doesn't even begin to describe it!  Shocked Tongue Tongue
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2013, 07:50:06 AM »

I bet the bishop would have put a stop to it pronto .... Bizarre doesn't even begin to describe it!  Shocked Tongue Tongue

For that to happen, the bishop would've had to receive complaints, or have this charade go on during a pastoral visit.  Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2013, 07:54:05 AM »

I've never heard of crossing oneself anytime the doors are opened or closed, but I've always crossed myself the first time they were opened for the beginning of a service.  This has more to do with the ringing of the bells at the beginning of a service than it does with the doors themselves. 

Same.
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« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2013, 07:54:47 AM »

I bet the bishop would have put a stop to it pronto .... Bizarre doesn't even begin to describe it!  Shocked Tongue Tongue

For that to happen, the bishop would've had to receive complaints, or have this charade go on during a pastoral visit.  Tongue

Surely there would have been at least one person in the congregation with enough guts and sense of propriety to bend the bishop's ear!  Shocked
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« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2013, 08:00:04 AM »

Surely there would have been at least one person in the congregation with enough guts and sense of propriety to bend the bishop's ear!  Shocked

There is an abundance of guts and a dearth of propriety in that community.  Let the reader understand.  Wink
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« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2013, 08:07:51 AM »

Surely there would have been at least one person in the congregation with enough guts and sense of propriety to bend the bishop's ear!  Shocked

There is an abundance of guts and a dearth of propriety in that community.  Let the reader understand.  Wink

Were there no yiayies or babushki at that parish?  Shocked

I would have had no qualms in approaching the bishop if I had witnessed such a travesty, even if I wasn't a member of that parish. This shouldn't surprise you.  Wink
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« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2013, 08:18:45 AM »

Were there no yiayies or babushki at that parish?  Shocked

Yes, but ours don't get out of hand the way yours do.  Tongue 

I remember one Pascha waiting for the service to begin, but needing to walk from one end of the pitch dark chapel to the other and illumining my path with light from my cell phone.  A visiting elderly Russian lady nearly ripped my head off for making phone calls in church!  In contrast, ours smile, hold your hand, and hug and kiss you.  I've never seen one go nuts in church (all bets are off at home, however).     
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« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2013, 08:25:13 AM »

Were there no yiayies or babushki at that parish?  Shocked

Yes, but ours don't get out of hand the way yours do.  Tongue 

I remember one Pascha waiting for the service to begin, but needing to walk from one end of the pitch dark chapel to the other and illumining my path with light from my cell phone.  A visiting elderly Russian lady nearly ripped my head off for making phone calls in church!  In contrast, ours smile, hold your hand, and hug and kiss you.  I've never seen one go nuts in church (all bets are off at home, however).     

Oh, most of the old dears I know are just that, old, and utterly dear. A few are sainthood material, IMHO. But I cannot imagine any of them staying silent or indifferent in the face of the abomination you described.
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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2013, 08:32:48 AM »

Were there no yiayies or babushki at that parish?  Shocked

Yes, but ours don't get out of hand the way yours do.  Tongue 

I remember one Pascha waiting for the service to begin, but needing to walk from one end of the pitch dark chapel to the other and illumining my path with light from my cell phone.  A visiting elderly Russian lady nearly ripped my head off for making phone calls in church!  In contrast, ours smile, hold your hand, and hug and kiss you.  I've never seen one go nuts in church (all bets are off at home, however).     

Oh, most of the old dears I know are just that, old, and utterly dear. A few are sainthood material, IMHO. But I cannot imagine any of them staying silent or indifferent in the face of the abomination you described.

Perhaps yours have better hearing than ours.  Wink

I don't think they'd stay silent or indifferent, I just think that they wouldn't consider bothering the bishop with such things.  They'd probably bug the priest about it, talk about it with others in the parish, and see what could be done to fix it (start a new choir, remove the choir director, etc.).  Talking to the bishop is for things like when you want your priest removed because you don't like him for some reason that is as illegitimate as it may be legitimate, or when you want him to assign a priest for the new parish you started with thirty-seven families that broke away and moved down the street.  Smiley   
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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2013, 08:40:01 AM »

Were there no yiayies or babushki at that parish?  Shocked

Yes, but ours don't get out of hand the way yours do.  Tongue 

I remember one Pascha waiting for the service to begin, but needing to walk from one end of the pitch dark chapel to the other and illumining my path with light from my cell phone.  A visiting elderly Russian lady nearly ripped my head off for making phone calls in church!  In contrast, ours smile, hold your hand, and hug and kiss you.  I've never seen one go nuts in church (all bets are off at home, however).     

Oh, most of the old dears I know are just that, old, and utterly dear. A few are sainthood material, IMHO. But I cannot imagine any of them staying silent or indifferent in the face of the abomination you described.

Perhaps yours have better hearing than ours.  Wink

I don't think they'd stay silent or indifferent, I just think that they wouldn't consider bothering the bishop with such things.  They'd probably bug the priest about it, talk about it with others in the parish, and see what could be done to fix it (start a new choir, remove the choir director, etc.).  Talking to the bishop is for things like when you want your priest removed because you don't like him for some reason that is as illegitimate as it may be legitimate, or when you want him to assign a priest for the new parish you started with thirty-seven families that broke away and moved down the street.  Smiley   

I might add that a good number of the Russian babas (and dyedas) I know sang in church choirs in earlier years, so "canned" music would really stick in their craw. If their attempts to get the priest to cease and desist failed, then I guarantee the bishop's office would be their next port of call, whether in person, or by other means.
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