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Author Topic: Photos - Consecration of chruch in U.K.  (Read 3398 times) Average Rating: 0
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paul2004
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« on: March 04, 2005, 05:40:05 PM »

Photo album of the consecration of St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church, U.K.

http://st.gregorios.church.fotopic.net/
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2005, 06:34:34 PM »

In this photo, the three sitting clergy all have on different headgear. Is there any significance to this, or is it just a matter of personal preference?
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2005, 07:28:11 PM »

Because they are Ethiopian, Eritrean, Coptic, Armenian, and Indian Bishops/Priests.  There is no uniformity in vestments and liturgy among OO.  The diversity we had in 4th century is still contniued, faith being the same.

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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2005, 07:34:05 PM »

<slaps forehead> Duh, I knew that. For some reason I was thinking that everybody serving there was Syrian.
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2005, 09:15:28 PM »

It looks like a lovely, thriving parish, but, if I may be so bold...why does it look so, well, Anglican? Maybe it's the conformity of eastern orthodox practices, but to see an altar that is not a cube is strange to me, and to not have an iconostas is as well. Is this typical of Indian churches? If not, what would a "typical" Indian church look like?
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2005, 10:59:44 PM »

It looks like a lovely, thriving parish, but, if I may be so bold...why does it look so, well, Anglican? Maybe it's the conformity of eastern orthodox practices, but to see an altar that is not a cube is strange to me, and to not have an iconostas is as well. Is this typical of Indian churches? If not, what would a "typical" Indian church look like?

As I understand it, the iconostas is particular to Byzantine worship.  Neither the Christian West nor the Oriental Churches emphasized icons as much as the Byzantine Orthodox did--which makes sense, as the iconoclastic controversy was fought in the Eastern Patriarchates' lands--so the natural forms of the rows and ranks of icons never really happened in other parts of Christendom, thus never giving rise to the need for a standing display of icons.
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2005, 11:50:20 PM »

Quote
As I understand it, the iconostas is particular to Byzantine worship.

Although, every Coptic church I've been in has had one. A Byzantine influence, or parallel traditions?
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2005, 12:51:07 AM »

We use a curtain which opens and closes during different times of the Divine Liturgy.  I think Syrians do the same.
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2005, 02:15:46 AM »

If not, what would a "typical" Indian church look like?

Churches & Monasteries of the Malankara (Indian) Syriac Orthodox Christian Community
http://malankarachurch.org/malankara/Malankara_parishes.htm
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2005, 08:05:28 AM »

Indian and Syrian churches do not have an iconostasis, but a curtain which divides the altar from the nave.  As for the cube altar, I think it is a Byzantine peculiarity (and even then, I've seen Greek churches with rectangles), since I've never seen cube altars in Indian churches other than possibly side altars; main altars have always been rectangular.  The Coptic churches I've been in had rectangular altars unless my memory fails me, as have the Armenian churches. 

As for looking "Anglican", I don't know why rectangular altars and curtains should make one think immediately of Anglicans.  Perhaps the building was bought from them, though.   
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2005, 11:19:18 AM »

I didnt see any curtain. The rectangular altar looks like the altars in every modern Catholic and protestant church Ive ever been in, so that's why it reminded me of that. Then, just the structure and materials of that building look really Anglican or Episcopalian. It's kinda understandable since that parish is in England, but I would have thought there was more a traditional Indian design that would prevail like Russian or Byzantine do in this country.
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2005, 03:35:43 PM »

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I didnt see any curtain.

Here is a good pic of the curtain.
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2005, 04:25:36 PM »

Isn't that the altar in front of the curtain?
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2005, 05:09:23 PM »

I believe it's a tetrapod of some sort. If you look at the pictures immediately following that one, such as this one, the altar is the large red structure on the back wall behind the curtain.
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2005, 05:47:59 PM »

Ah, I see. I thought that table on the sanctuary level was the altar and was very confused at the whole physical set up. I havent been to any Oriental Orthodox churches in a long time, but I didnt think they were that different in structure than Eastern Orthodox ones.
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2005, 12:05:39 AM »

So, from the pictures that Beayf was so kind to have posted, as well as others I have seen online, the altar is not freestanding?

Because it looks as if it is set against the wall, like it used to be in Roman Catholic Churches, pre-Vat. II, and in traditional Anglican Churches and Roman Catholic churches that offer the Tridentine Mass exclusively these days.

In Byzantine/Eastern Orthodox churches, the altar is freestanding, so that the priest can cense all the way around the altar, which is also how the Coptic church I had visited has their altar.

So, is this not the case with Indian and Armenian Orthodox churches?

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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2005, 02:37:07 AM »

Isn't that the altar in front of the curtain?
According to Syriac tradition, The Church has three parts:

1.Holy of the Holies, the sanctuary or the Madbaho. This Syriac word is derived from the Syriac root bdah meaning sacrifice. It is the place where the most sacred sacrifice of our Lord is actualized. The most holy act in the history is the sacrifice of our Lord on the Cross.

In the holy of the holies is the altar.  Altar is the thronos, it means throne. The throne of our Lord is His Cross. The altar is the Golgotho, where the cross of our Lord was erected. The altar stands for the sacrifice of Jesus. This is also the heavenly throne of God. It is covered to signify the inability of human being to understand the spiritual meanings. The different colour used and the embroidery refers to the heavenly hosts and the heavenly magnanimity.

The Curtain is the symbol of separation of heaven and earth

2. The second part is the Chancel or the Kestrumo. This is separated by the rails in the traditional church building where the priests and the deacons assemble to say the prayers. It is the preparatory place before entering into the Sanctuary for the services. Here the OT reading is done. This reminds the preparatory role of the OT as well as the prayer of penitence done to please the sacrifice. In Psalm 51 we read, ' the sacrifice of God is a humble spirit and a broken heart God despiseth not'. Baptismal font is also kept here. This is also symbolic of the preparation to join the divine sacrifice or Eucharist. We cannot share the Eucharist without entering through the baptism. The Holy Eucharist is the experiencing and becoming one with God. We could only experience this through the holy baptism.

The table in front of the Curtain is not an altar it is just a table covered with a piece of cloth. Usually on the top of the table, a wooden cross, two candle and holy bible and liturgy books kept.

3. The Nave or the common place. Here stand the worshippers. This stands for the valley where the Israelites waited to receive the blessings from God and the Church at large waiting for the second coming of our Lord.
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2005, 02:40:56 AM »

So why is that table kept? That is what looked exactly like every mainstream Protestant altar that I've seen.
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2005, 03:19:14 PM »

Beayf was right.  That table in front of the curtain is not an altar, but a table with a cross, candles, and liturgical books.  At this table, various sacramental and liturgical services (e.g., Vespers, Matins) that are not Eucharistic are conducted.  For instance, I believe in EO churches, weddings are done at such a table, although it is not a permanent fixture; in Indian churches, it is.

The altar is almost always freestanding, although there are some exceptions (but usually never, in my experience, with the main altar, which is always freestanding).   

The basic structure of Byzantine churches and Syrian ones seems to be the same: altar, with a division, an area between this division and the nave (solea/chancel), and the nave.  After this, there are some differences. 

Indian churches usually follow a certain pattern, but in the diaspora, if you can't afford to build your own church, you buy someone else's and convert it.  Here in the NE USA, one can see EO churches in the Byzantine or Russian styles, and you can also see EO churches which are converted Protestant churches, or look very much like them. 
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2005, 03:54:40 PM »

Thanks Phil. Weddings are done at such a table in EO. I'm not sure if that church building is brand new or converted, but I think it's the dark wood, plaster walls, and lack of painted anything that makes me think Protestant. I did know that icons don't have as prominent a status as in the EO, but I guess I assumed there would be SOME in any given church no matter what.

In my church we'd kill for a building of that size. We've really outgrown our space, but we don't want to move because of the proximity of the church to the university campus (walking distance) and there's no room to building unless we obtain land next to ours, which is an alley on one side (no-go) and the American Cancer Society on the other, and they don't want to sell their house/offices, so for now, we're stuck.  It's very nice to see that church so full already:)
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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2005, 06:02:14 PM »

I have a feeling that building is probably converted.  Whenever I've seen pictures of consecrations of EO churches, they usually have fewer icons (often a "handful") at that point than they do years down the line, and I've always supposed that was because they just wanted to start using their new building, and chose to worry about "finishing touches" later; in a Church where icons do not have as prominent a place, it may not be so surprising if they don't show up at all at the start, but make their way in later.  Most churches end up having at least a few icons, but it's not a necessity strictly speaking.  That said, I'm an icon man, I wish they had some.  Tongue  They'll probably get them at some point. 
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« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2005, 02:01:28 PM »

I think when the Church is first consecrated only the Cross is used. Icons are placed later. It is customary that in each Indian Orthodox church there is image of St. Mary which is a must and then images of one or more of the saints - St. Thomas, St. George, St. Gregorios etc.

Some Indian Orthodox parishes:
http://www.stmarysbronx.org/indexmain.html
http://www.massey.ac.nz/~ccherian/stdionysiusnz/photo4.htm
http://www.indianorthodoxchurchabudhabi.com/


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« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2005, 11:27:26 PM »

+Irini nem ehmot

Coptic Orthodox Churches always have icons. In fact, if we are even renting a Church or using some other facility to hold a Liturgy, the priest brings with him a bare minimum of an icon of the Pantocrator and the Theotokos, because the rite of censing icons is built right into our Liturgy. This is a parallel practice, not an influence of the Byzantines, because even pre-schism ancient Churches in Egypt have these icons as a minimum (I've never even seen that few in the ancient ones, they are all very elaborate).

Our icons are also always consecrated with the Holy Myron.

Our altars are always square/rectangular (never seen rectangular but I guess a square is an exceptional rectangle!).

Please pray for me.
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« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2005, 02:17:52 PM »

I was reading an article which described church architecture of churches in the 'Assyrian Church of the East'.  The author, a person from the West was comparing Indian churches to churches of the Assyrian church of the East.

Indian Churches have a large lamp placed at the center aisle.  According to the article, this is there in the Church of the East. People bring oil as offering and pour in to the lamp.

The Church of the East also does not use a lot of Icons. Cross is more important for them.  I think the Indian Church architecture is influenced by the Eastern Syrian Church and partly by the Indian temple architecture (especially the ancient parishes in India).

Here is an Assyrian Church of the East:
http://www.assyriansofkirkuk.com/pictures/newkirkuk/7thchurch.jpg

another one here:
http://homepage.mac.com/weblink/Iraq/P06-Assyrians.htm

Very similar to Indian Orthodox Churches, right?  I think the reason is historic, Indian Church and Church of the East were one for many years, both founded by Apostle Thomas and with Apostle Thomas as the first Patriarch in the succession.

Peace

-Paul
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Tags: altar diversity in practice clerical dress vestments head coverings Indian Orthodox Syriac Orthodox Coptic Orthodox Church Church of the East Assyrian 
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