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Author Topic: The Kiss of Peace  (Read 2363 times) Average Rating: 0
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SetFree
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« on: May 06, 2005, 01:57:29 PM »

When I visited St. Antony's Coptic Orthodox Church in San Antonio one of the things that stood out most to me was the Kiss of Peace.  I thought it was an amazing act of forgiveness and reconcilliation.  I was wondering...where did this ceremony come from and is it practiced in all Oriental Orthodox Churches???  My knowledge of OO is limited to the Coptic Church only, though there is an Armenian Mission in my City.  Why do the Eastern Orthodox Churches not do this ceremony???  Thank you.

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Adrian Davila
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2005, 05:29:39 PM »

As far as I know, it is practiced in all of our Churches, although done in different ways depending on the Church.  The practice is known to have been part of Christianity since New Testament times. 
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2005, 12:55:11 AM »

It's practiced among parishioners in some Orthodox congregations that I have visited, however, in that case it was a remnant of previous Protestant practice as these were churches that converted en masse. It's not inappropriate to do, however, the Kiss of Peace is practiced in EO church between serving clergy only in the majority of cases. The whole personal connection and forgiveness and reconciliation thing is also present in the rite of Forgiveness at the start of Lent.
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2005, 04:05:26 AM »

Matthew 5:23-24:

Quote
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Orthodox Study Bible footnote:

Quote
"Peace with other believers takes primacy over duties of worship *Mark 11:25). In  early Christian worship the liturgical "kiss of peace" at the beggining of communion prayers--not after--was a sign of reconciliation and forgiveness, preparing the Church to offer and receive the Eucharist (1 Cor. 16:20; 1 Pet. 5:14).

As far as I know - the call for the "kiss of peace" amongst the congregation (preceding the partaking of the Holy Eucharist) is one contained in the liturgies of St Basil, St Cyril, and St Gregory the Theologian.

Choirfriend,

What exactly is "inappropriate" about it?

Peace.
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2005, 08:01:07 AM »

I think she said it was "not inappropriate".  I had a friend who hated when I would word things like that, and I sometimes did it to annoy her.  Tongue
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2005, 08:02:56 AM »

Oh man; double negatives get me ALL the time lol

My bad choirfriend.
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2005, 08:26:15 AM »

. Why do the Eastern Orthodox Churches not do this ceremony??? Thank you.

The Eastern Orthodox Churches do include the Kiss of Peace in the Liturgy, however, it is now usually only done by the concelebratating clergy at the Altar. It is most often seen these days in large monasteries and cathedrals where more than one celebrant is usually present. The Kiss of Peace signifies not only reconciliation, but unity of faith. The practice was stopped among the laity in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, (along with the Agape) possibly due to abuses, however it has always been an integral part of the Liturgy since Apostolic times. See: Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:26, 1 Peter 5:14.
In a similar way, the Rite of Artoclasia at Vespers is a remnant of the Agape (love Feast) of Apostolic times.
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2005, 08:32:57 AM »

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The practice was stopped among the laity in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, (along with the Agape) possibly due to abuses

Interesting. Would you be able to locate some more information on this issue?

Peace.
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2005, 05:35:34 PM »

Interesting. Would you be able to locate some more information on this issue?
For the decline of the Agape, see "On the Divine Liturgy" in Orthodox Sermons by Rev. George Dimopoulos http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/sermons_g_dimopoulos.htm#_Toc44633684. As for the Kiss of Peace, I have only oral history.
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2005, 07:10:01 PM »

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The practice was stopped among the laity in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, (along with the Agape) possibly due to abuses

Interesting. Would you be able to locate some more information on this issue?

Peace.

1)St Cyril of Jerusalem (4th century) in His CATECHETICAL LECTURES refers to kiss of peace:

Lecture XXIII - On the Sacred Liturgy and Communion:

"3. Then the Deacon cries aloud, "Receive ye one another; and let us kiss one another (1)." Think not that this kiss is of the same character with those given in public by common friends. It is not such: but this kiss blends souls one with another, and courts entire forgiveness for them. The kiss therefore is the sign that our souls are mingled together, and banish all remembrance of wrongs. For this cause Christ said, If thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against time, leave there thy gift upon the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift(2) . The kiss therefore is reconciliation, and for this reason holy: as the blessed Paul somewhere cried, saying, Greet ye one another with a holy kiss ; and Peter, with a kiss of charity"

2)Also in The First Apology of Justin (2nd century) there is a reference the kiss of peace in Chapter LXV.-Administration of the Sacraments:

"Chapter LXV.-Administration of the Sacraments.

But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss.(3) There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to ge/noito [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion."


3)Also Tertullian (2nd century) gives testimony regarding the kiss of peace in his essay On Prayer, Chapter XVIII.-Of the Kiss of Peace

"Chapter XVIII.-Of the Kiss of Peace.

Another custom has now become prevalent. Such as are fasting withhold the kiss of peace, which is the seal of prayer, after prayer made with brethren. But when is peace more to be concluded with brethren than when, at the time of some religious observance, our prayer ascends with more acceptability; that they may themselves participate in our observance, and thereby be mollified for transacting with their brother touching. their own peace? What prayer is complete if divorced from the "holy kiss? " Whom does peace impede when rendering service to his Lord? What kind of sacrifice is that from which men depart without peace? Whatever our prayer be, it will not be better than the observance of the precept by which we are bidden to conceal our fasts; for now, by abstinence from the kiss, we are known to be fasting. But even if there be some reason for this practice, still, lest you offend against this precept, you may perhaps defer your "peace" at home, where it is not possible for your fast to be entirely kept secret. But wherever else you can conceal your observance, you ought to remember the precept: thus you may satisfy the requirements of Discipline abroad and of custom at home. So, too, on the day of the passover, when the religious observance of a fast is general, and as it were public, we justly forego the kiss, caring nothing to conceal anything which we do in common with all."



Notes:

(2) These two directions by the Deacon are separated in the Liturgy of St. James: after the dismissal of the Catechumens, the Deacon says, "Take note one of another;" and after the Incense, Cherubic hymn, Oblation, Creed, and a short prayer "that we may be united one to another in the bond of peace and charity," the Deacon says, "Let us salute (a'gapw=men) one another with a holy kiss." In the Apostolic Constitutions, VIII. 11, there is but one such direction, and this comes before the washing of hands and the dismissal of the Catechumens, "Salute (a'spa/sasqe) ye one another with a holy kiss."

(2)Matt. v. 23. from Cyril's reference to this passage "it may be inferred that the kiss of peace had been given before the gifts were brought to the altar, according to ancient custom attested by Justin M. Apolog. i. c. 65 `Having ended the prayers 0' (for the newly baptized) `we salute one another with a kiss. Then there is brought to the President of the brethren bread, and a cup of wine mixed with water 0'" (Ben. Ed.). There is the same order in the Apost. Const. VIII. 12,, and in the 19th Canon, of the Synod of Laodicea; but in the Liturgy of S. James the gifts are offered before the kiss of peace.

(3)The kiss of charity, the kiss of peace, or "the peace" (h eirhnh), was enjoined by the Apostle Paul in his Epistles to the Corinthians , Thessalonians, and Romans, and thence passed inato a common Christian usage. It was continued in the Western Church, under regulations to prevent its abuse, until the thirteenth century. Stanley remarks (Corinthians, i. 414), "It is still continued in the worship of the Coptic Church."
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2005, 05:00:53 PM »

On the Sunday of Holy Resurrection, we in Indian Orthodox give kiss of  peace to other members ater the liturgy. This is done seperately for men and women. Kiss of peace is given in each liturgy by bowing, folding the hands as in prayer and gently touching the neighbours hand. This starts first in the altar and then the deacon come down and give kiss of peace seperately to someone in the front, usually children,  on both sides

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