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Author Topic: Catechumen Participation  (Read 4417 times) Average Rating: 0
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Sir Sundae
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« on: July 07, 2005, 04:56:09 PM »

Greetings All,

I am curious to know what all a catechumen may participate in as far as the sacraments are concerned. Is he allowed to receive confession? Eucharist? Annointing with oil? 

Just curious,

Chuck
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2005, 05:13:40 PM »

A catechumen cannot receive the Eucharist or absolution.  I was annointed with oil on the eve of a feast while I was a catechumen but I don't know if that's standard practice in all Orthodox churches.  This wasn't an "official" sacrament, though. 
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2005, 05:21:11 PM »

Jennifer is correct here, at the litya, you may be annointed with oil, and depending on local practice you may be able to receive antidoron, but the other mysteries are reserved until after you are Baptized. This is one of the reasons you leave when the deacon (or priests) says, Catechumens Depart! However, a catacumen may have an orthodox burial in the Church if they die before their Baptism.
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2005, 05:39:55 PM »

[quote author=Νικολάος Διάκονος link=topic=6606.msg86274#msg86274 date=1120771271]
Jennifer is correct here, at the litya, you may be annointed with oil, and depending on local practice you may be able to receive antidoron, but the other mysteries are reserved until after you are Baptized. This is one of the reasons you leave when the deacon (or priests) says, Catechumens Depart! However, a catacumen may have an orthodox burial in the Church if they die before their Baptism.
[/quote]

Tanget, but at our (OCA) parish, our priest gives the Catechumens the option whether or not they want to "Depart!" or not during the Liturgy.  Most usually do.  Evidently at our parish, this one family around 8-10 years ago heard the Deacon, and said, "Well that's us!  Time to go!" and all the others have pretty much just copied them or the current ones ever since - I don't think the preist really mentioned/emphasized it.
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2005, 05:55:25 PM »

I've noticed that same thing at my parish with one couple that are catechumens right now.  They leave promptly when the deacon says "Let no catechumens remain" and aren't seen again until Vespers on Saturday.  Only catechumens I've ever seen do that, actually.
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2005, 09:03:36 PM »

It is good that those catechumens are paying attention and realize that the deacon says, "Let no catechumens remain" and not "catechumens, if you feel like it, you can leave now" Grin

Traditionally when the catechumens leave at this time someone will catechize them on the porch or the trapeza hall.
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2005, 09:13:53 PM »

this is interesting to me - i knew there were very traditional parishes where catechumens actually depart, but i never expected so many posts in a row confirming that the practice occurs so frequently in America...when i became a catechumen i also joined the choir (was asked to by the priest), and so it was never expected of me to leave at the litany for catechumens, but nor was it expected of catechumens who were not in the choir, and for an OCA parish we are on the traditional side...there are several churches i've been to where the litany is left out entirely, and when i asked my deacon about it he said he feels it's important to leave it in as a reminder to evangelize, so to speak...i.e. if there are no catechumens at your church, the litany each week is a reminder that this is something the church should be striving for.

anyway, just my thoughts. i am past my catechumenate so it is not useful for me to feel guilty about practices i participated in or did not participate in, in my past. it is cool to see that the ancient practice is still alive in some places tho.

In Christ,
Donna Mary
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2005, 09:15:23 PM »

Quote
Traditionally when the catechumens leave at this time someone will catechize them on the porch or the trapeza hall.

are there any parishes in America where this actually occurs?
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2005, 09:17:13 PM »

[quote author=Νικολάος Διάκονος link=topic=6606.msg86296#msg86296 date=1120784616]
It is good that those catechumens are paying attention and realize that the deacon says, "Let no catechumens remain" and not "catechumens, if you feel like it, you can leave now" :-D

Traditionally when the catechumens leave at this time someone will catechize them on the porch or the trapeza hall.
[/quote]

Those who do leave ARE given cathechesis materials to read.

Given that it is rather unusual these days to actually see catechumens leave, I think it is enlightening by them taking it seriously.  On the otherhand, I don't know if there has been any worthwhile discussion on this by any Fathers/Saints/etc. over the past several hundred years, but I think most view it (the Deacon saying it) as mainly symbolic.  Besides fidelity to the ancient Liturgy, there were much more practical reasons for the Dismissal in the first millenium as well.
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2005, 09:19:40 PM »

are there any parishes in America where this actually occurs?

See mine above - I missed your response by a few min.  Again, we are a traditional leaning OCA parish as well and one family just happened to innocently start the trend.
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2005, 09:23:13 PM »

Quote
See mine above - I missed your response by a few min.  Again, we are a traditional leaning OCA parish as well and one family just happened to innocently start the trend.

but are the catechumens who depart at your church catechized in the narthex or elsewhere in the church building during the 2nd part of the liturgy?
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2005, 09:47:54 PM »

Yea, til now, Ive never heard of, nor seen any catechumen leaving the Liturgy. As far as I knew, it was a practice that fell out of active practice anywhere in the world a LONG time ago.
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2005, 09:49:53 PM »

We have catechism during other times now...and we have written materials, and the people can read.
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2005, 10:38:13 PM »

What about visitors? For example, this Saturday, God willing, I'm hoping to go to an Orthodox church for Great Vespers service. As a visitor, what should I keep in mind? Are there any rules or procedures that I should follow?

Thanks all for the responses!

--Chuck
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2005, 10:46:58 PM »

There aren't really that many "rules" in an Orthodox church.  People don't do all of the same things at the same time. 

Dress for vespers seems to vary by parish.  Some are more casual while others are more formal.  Although it's never acceptable (speaking generally) to wear shorts or something sleeveless to an Orthodox liturgy. 

Great vespers lasts about an hour.  After Vespers, a lot of parishes have confessions so the priest might not be available to answer your questions.  You might want to keep in mind that people will be confessing after vespers and not hang around that area after the liturgy.  You don't want to accidently overhear someone's confession. 

The main rule in an Orthodox Church is that you can't go behind the Iconostatis unless you have a reason to go back there.  Generally people avoid going up on the ambo (usually a higher level in front of the iconostatis).  The people generally don't venerate the icons on the iconostatis. 

Have you been to vespers before?  At vespers, the priest will come out and cense the people.  Usually people bow when they are censed.  The Russian tradition is not to cross yourself when you're censed but the Greeks appear to do this.  The priest will usually walk around the church and it's inpolite to have your back towards him so people move around to face him as he walks around censing people. 

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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2005, 11:18:47 PM »

I'm sure you've seen the "12 things" to know by Frederica. Vespers is very quiet. The church is usually darkened--minimal lights or just candlelight. I have some really cool commentaries on Vespers that I'll post for you. They were really eye-opening for me.

Vespers
  >
  > Vespers recalls and represents events of the Old Testament: the creation
of the world, the fall into sin of the first human beings, their expulsion
from Paradise, their repentance and prayer for salvation, the hope of
mankind in accordance with the promise of God for a Saviour, and finally,
the fulfillment of that promise.
  >
  > The Vespers of an All Night Vigil begins with the opening of the Royal
Gates. The priest and deacon silently cense the Altar Table and the entire
sanctuary, so that clouds of incense fill the depths of the sanctuary. This
silent censing represents the beginning of the creation of the world. In the
beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was without form and
void, and the Spirit of God hovered over the original material earth,
breathing upon it a life-creating power, but the creating word of God had
not yet begun to resound.
  >
  > The priest then stands before the Altar and intones the first
exclamation to the glory of the Creator and Founder of the world, the Most
Holy Trinity: "Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-creating, and
Indivisible Trinity, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages."
  >
  > He then summons the faithful four times, "O come, let us worship God our
King. O come let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our
God. O come let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and
our God. O come let us worship and fall down before Him." "For All things
were made by Him; and without him was not anything made that was made (John
1:3)."
  >
  > In response to this summons, the choir solemnly chants the 103rd Psalm,
which describes the creation of the world and glorifies the wisdom of God:
"Bless the Lord, O my soul. Blessed art Thou, O Lord; O Lord my God, Thou
hast been magnified exceedingly...In wisdom hast Thou made them
all...Wondrous are Thy works, O Lord... Glory to Thee, O Lord, Who hast made
them all." During the chanting of this psalm the priest goes forth from the
sanctuary. He completes the censing of the entire church and the faithful
therein, while a deacon precedes him bearing a lit candle in his hand. This
sacred action calls to the mind of those praying the creation of the world;
but it is to remind them primarily of the blessed life in Paradise of the
first human beings, when the Lord God Himself walked among them. The open
Royal Gates signify that at that time the gates of Paradise were open for
all mankind.
  >
  > When man was deceived by the Devil and transgressed against the will of
God, he fell into sin. Because of this fall, man was deprived of his blessed
life in Paradise. He was driven out of Paradise and the gates were closed.
To symbolize this expulsion, after the censing of the church and the
chanting of the psalm, the Royal Gates are closed.
  >
  > The deacon then comes out from the sanctuary and stands before the
closed Royal Gates, as Adam stood before the sealed entrance of Paradise,
and intones the Great Litany: "In peace let us pray to the Lord." In other
words, let us pray to the Lord when we have been reconciled with all our
neighbors, so that we feel no anger or hostility towards them. "For the
peace from above, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the
Lord." That is to say, let us pray that the Lord send down upon us "from on
high" the peace of Heaven, and that He save our souls.
  >
  > After the Great Litany and the exclamation of the priest, certain
selected verses are usually sung from the first three psalms of the Psalter:
"Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly."
Blessed is he who has not lived or acted on the advice of those who are
irreverent and impious. "For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, and
the way of the ungodly shall perish." For the Lord knows the life of the
righteous and the life of the impious leads to ruin. The deacon then intones
the Little Litany, "Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord..."
  >
  > After this litany, the choir chants the verses of certain psalms that
express the longing of man for salvation and Paradise: "Lord, I have cried
unto Thee, hearken unto me. Hearken unto me, O Lord...Attend to the voice of
my supplication, when I cry unto Thee...Let my prayer be set forth as
incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.
Hearken unto me, O Lord." During the chanting of these verses, the deacon
censes the church once more.
  >
  > Up to this point, the divine service, from the beginning of the closing
of the Royal Gates, through the petitions of the Great Ectenia and the
chanting of the psalms, represents the miserable state of mankind was
subject to by the fall of our forefathers into sin. With the fall, all the
deprivations, pains and sufferings we experience came into our lives. We cry
out to God, "Lord, have mercy," and request peace and salvation for our
souls. We feel contrition that we heeded the ungodly counsel of the Devil.
We ask God to forgive our sins and deliver us from troubles; we place all
our hope in His mercy. Thus, the censing by the deacon during the chanting
of the psalm signifies both the sacrifices of the Old Testament and the
prayers we are offering to God.
  >
  > Alternating with the chanting of the Old Testament verses of the psalm
"Lord, I have cried" are New testament hymns composed in honor of the saint
or feast of the day. The last verse is called the Theotokion, or Dogmatikon,
since it is sung in honor of the Mother of God. In it is set forth the dogma
on the incarnation of the Son of God from the Virgin Mary. On the twelve
great feasts, a special verse in honor of the feast is chanted in place of
the Theotokion.
  >
  > During the chanting of the Theotokion the Royal Gates are opened, and
the Vespers Entry is made; a candle bearer comes through the north door of
the Sanctuary, followed by the deacon with the censer, and finally the
priest. The priest stops on the ambo facing the Royal Gates and blesses the
entry with the sign of the Cross; after the intoning of the words "Wisdom,
let us attend!" by the deacon, the priest and the deacon reenters the Altar
together through the Royal Gates. The priest goes to stand next to the High
Place behind the Holy Table.
  >
  > At this time the choir chants a hymn to the Son of God, our Lord Jesus
Christ: "O Gentle Light of the holy glory of the immortal, heavenly, holy
blessed Father, O Jesus Christ: having come to the setting of the sun,
having beheld the evening light, we praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit: God. Meet it is for Thee at all times to be hymned with reverent
voices, O Son of God, Giver of Life. Wherefore, the world doth glorify
Thee."
  >
  > In this hymn, the Son of God is called the Gentle Light that comes from
the Heavenly Father, for He came to this earth not in the fullness of divine
glory but in the gentle radiance of this glory. This hymn also says that
only with reverent voices, and not our sinful mouths, can He be glorified
and exalted worthily.
  >
  > The entry during Vespers reminds the faithful how the Old Testament
righteous, in harmony with the promise of God that was manifest in
prototypes and prophecies, expected the coming of the Saviour, and how He
appeared in the world for the salvation of the human race.
  >
  > The censer with incense used at the entry signifies that our prayers, by
the intercession of our Lord the Saviour, are offered to God like incense.
It also signifies the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church.
  >
  > The blessing with the sign of the Cross shows that by means of the Cross
of the Lord the doors into Paradise are opened again for us.
  >
  > Following the chanting of the hymn "O Gentle Light..." we sing the
prokeimenon, short verses taken from the Holy Scriptures. On Saturday
evening, for the Vespers for Sunday, we chant, "The Lord is King; He is
clothed with majesty."
  >
  > After the chanting of the prokeimenon, on the more important feasts
there are readings. These are selections from the Scriptures in which there
is a prophecy or a prototype which relates to the event being celebrated, or
in which edifying teachings are set forth, which relate to the saint
commemorated that day.
  >
  > Following the prokeimenon and readings the deacon intones the Augmented
Litany, "Let us all say with our whole soul and with our whole mind, let us
say." The prayer, "Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this evening without
sin..." follows, and at the conclusion of this prayer the deacon reads the
Supplicatory Litany, "Let us complete our evening prayer unto the Lord..."
  >
  > On great feasts after the Augmented and Supplicatory Litanies the Litia,
or Blessing of Bread and Wine, is celebrated.
  >
  > "Litia" is a Greek word meaning "common prayer." The Litia, a series of
verses chanted by the choir followed by an enumeration of many saints whose
prayers are besought, is celebrated in the western end of the church, near
the main entrance doors, or in the Narthex, if the church is so arranged.
This part of the service was intended for those who were standing in the
Narthex, the catechumens and penitents, so they might be able to take part
in the common service on the occasions of the major festivals.
  >
  > At the end of the Litia is the blessing and sanctification of five
loaves of bread, wheat, wine and oil to recall the ancient custom of
providing food for those assembled who had come some distance, in order to
give them strength during the long divine services. The five loaves are
blessed to recall the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves of
bread. Later, during the main part of Matins, the priest anoints the
faithful with the sanctified oil, after they have venerated the festal icon.
 
  > After the Litia, or if it is not served, after the Supplicatory Litany,
the Aposticha (Verses with hymns) are chanted. These are a few verses which
are specially written in memory of the occasion.
  >
  > Vespers ends with the reading of the prayer of St. Simeon the
GodReceiver, "Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Master,
according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou
hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light of revelation for the
gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel." This prayer is followed by the
reading of the Trisagion and the Lord's Prayer, and the singing of the
salutation of the Theotokos, "O Theotokos and Virgin, Rejoice! or the
troparion of the feast, and finally the thricechanted prayer of the
Psalmist: "Blessed be the name of the Lord from henceforth and for
evermore." The 33rd Psalm is then read or chanted until the verse, "But they
that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good thing." Then follows
the priestly blessing, "The blessing of the Lord be upon you, through His
grace and love for mankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of
ages."
  >
  > The conclusion of Vespers with the prayer of St. Simeon and the angelic
salutation of the Theotokos indicates the fulfillment of the divine promise
of a Saviour.


and, another source

http://www.stjohndc.org/russian/Liturgy/e_Vespers.htm
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2005, 11:21:13 PM »

Damn ChoirF... I saw the start of your post and I said ah.. yes.. I got the thing just for her... and then I quoted the VERY SAME THING you did LOL
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« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2005, 11:33:43 PM »

CF - thanx for posting that! i am definitely going to be experiencing vespers in a new light now Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2005, 02:25:08 PM »

Damn ChoirF...

Maybe we should not be in the practice of damning one another here on an Orthodox Christian forum?
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« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2005, 02:56:20 PM »

[quote author=Νικολάος Διάκονος link=topic=6606.msg86439#msg86439 date=1120847108]
Maybe we should not be in the practice of damning one another here on an Orthodox Christian forum?
[/quote]

True, but he was being facetious you know.
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« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2005, 02:58:19 PM »

[quote author=Νικολάος Διάκονος link=topic=6606.msg86439#msg86439 date=1120847108]
Maybe we should not be in the practice of damning one another here on an Orthodox Christian forum?
[/quote]

Does that mean we can't anathemize, either?  Sad
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« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2005, 03:00:46 PM »

Does that mean we can't anathemize, either?ÂÂ  Sad

If you are a bishop you can.  Grin
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« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2005, 03:04:02 PM »

[quote author=Νικολάος Διάκονος link=topic=6606.msg86446#msg86446 date=1120849246]
If you are a bishop you can.ÂÂ  Grin
[/quote]

I'll have to talk to Mor about dealing with that little problem, then.  Wink

No freelance anathemas, though?
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« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2005, 03:09:48 PM »

Not unless you've got a long enough beard Wink

btw, AIM is being evil.
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« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2005, 11:27:16 PM »

Yo,

Thanks for all the replies everyone. I'm looking forward to finally getting into Orthodoxy for real and not just read about it in books. Experiential knowledge speaks alot louder and alot clearer sometimes than the written word.

-Chuck
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« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2005, 08:34:25 AM »

Generally, are there cantors and the choir or just the choir singing [chanting]? Mrs. FM seemed a little ambiguous [or does it maybe vary from parish to parish?].
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« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2005, 09:27:52 AM »

Generally, are there cantors and the choir or just the choir singing [chanting]? Mrs. FM seemed a little ambiguous [or does it maybe vary from parish to parish?].

The reason Mama Fred sounds a little ambigous is because the practice does vary from region to region (and from parish to parish, in our case). A respected archpriest often quotes a now reposed bishop as saying, "There are 17 ways to do everything in the Orthodox Church, and 17 ways to do each of the 17 ways!" Anyway, traditionally speaking:

1) Parishes in the Russian/Ukrainian tradition will usually have choirs.
2) Parishes in the Carpatho-Rusyn tradition have congregational plainchant (postopinije).
3) Parishes in Greece and the rest of the Balkans will usually have one or two cantors, but large churches and cathedrals usually have a choir.

As for:

The priest will usually walk around the church and it's i[m]polite to have your back towards him so people move around to face him as he walks around censing people.

This was recently discussed in the Typikon list (OP #15404). Here are some helpful excerpts:

Quote from: Carol Surgant
The most recent time when Bishop Peter of [Cleveland] (ROCOR) was at our church, he specifically intructed all our people about this. He said that one should face towards the altar when standing in church, and not rotate to follow the censing, one should only turn and bow towards the priest/deacon when they are censing you, then turn back toward the altar again. He gave as an example, that when the Bishop is standing in the center of church, it would look ridiculous for him to rotate around with the censing, and so we should not do it either.

Quote from: Sergius Miller
The two purposes of censing are purification & honor. The censing through the church is to purify the temple (doesn't the censing priest or deacon often pray the 50th Psalm -- a psalm of confession of sin -- during the censing?) and to honor the holy ones whose images are depicted along the walls. We on the other hand should be facing the altar and following the texts being chanted or read.

Quote from: Archpriest Joseph Frawley
I have also been disturbed by the "sunflower syndrome" of parishioners when the priest censes. It seems to me that people should remain facing forward. One of the virtues mentioned in the Life of St. Macrina is that she never turned her back on the altar. Let us also follow her pious example.

I hope this is helpful!

--Julio
« Last Edit: July 09, 2005, 09:37:36 AM by Julio » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2005, 01:42:58 PM »

talk about learning from experience:

what the older ladies (who've been doing the orthodox thing far longer than i have) do, re: following the censing but also not turning back to altar, is they follow until censing is along back wall, then turn to meet censing on other side of them, but turn *towards* the altar (i.e. dont follow censing the whole way), then follow censing the rest of the circuit Smiley this way they never have their backs to the altar. a wonderful combination of following rules of etiquitte that happen to conflict, IMO, and something i plan on doing in the future.

also, i've noticed in my church that once a grand censing (i.e. around the whole church and not just the iconostasis) has begun, all usually stay still (i.e. dont keep moving towards your destination if it is before liturgy, etc.) - for several months i didnt do this and didnt really realize everyone was still during these times, but now i do and so i follow it as well...this may vary parish to parish tho Smiley

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« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2005, 10:37:22 PM »

From the Old Orthodox Prayer Book:

The bread which we receive after the Divine Liturgy, known as Prosphora or 'Dora', is given especially to those who for some reason or other did not or could not prepare for the Holy Communion.  This bread is the remainder of the loaves from which the small particles were taken out to be used in the Liturgy for the Holy Lamb and the other commemorative particles, and therefore it has a special blessing, although it is not the Body of Christ.  The faithful should partake of this blessed bread with great piety, taking care that a single crumb does not fall astray, and then when it is consumed it is done with fasting, and not treated as an ordinary food.  Some pious Orthodox Christians keep a number of small particles of Prosphora at home, and after their morning prayers partake of it, "instead of Holy Communion", as it was intended; in this way the whole week is sanctified and we continue to participate in the previously-celebrated Liturgy.
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« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2005, 12:47:10 AM »

Donna,

yea, people normally stay put. What I was taught in my family is that when arriving or entering the church, one should never enter when the priest is outside of the Royal Doors. Whether you're coming in as he is censing the church or re-entering after a trip to the bathroom during the beginning of the Gospel reading, it's been practice for us to wait at the doors of the narthex. This is done out of respect and to not get in the way/distract people from the events taking place in the Sanctuary.
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« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2005, 01:40:51 AM »

also, i've noticed in my church that once a grand censing (i.e. around the whole church and not just the iconostasis) has begun, all usually stay still (i.e. dont keep moving towards your destination if it is before liturgy, etc.) - for several months i didnt do this and didnt really realize everyone was still during these times, but now i do and so i follow it as well...this may vary parish to parish tho Smiley

In Christ,
Donna Mary

I've always thought this was weird - to "follow" the censer.  People seem to do this during the Great Entrance (e.g. frequently in Antiochian parishes, since they process around the people with the Gifts) as well, which is more understandable but still doesn't seem right.
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« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2005, 01:55:14 AM »

They're following the priest, not the censor. During the Great Entrance, the people are definitely following the Gifts, which is why in some traditions the people will grab the priest's vestments--the hem of his garment, if you will--and kiss their fingers or make the sign of the cross. No one does this when the priest is just censing (that I've ever seen, anway). In terms of liturgical motion, the priest is normally at the center of our attention, and this continues when the priest is moving about the place.
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« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2005, 06:08:52 AM »

one should never enter when the priest is outside of the Royal Doors. ........ it's been practice for us to wait at the doors of the narthex.

Here's a bit of trivia, just to confuse you all:
The "Royal Doors" are actually the doors seperating the Narthex from the Nave. The central doors of the Iconostasis are properly called "The Beautiful Gate".
Now forget I ever said this, because the current practice in english speaking Orthodoxy is to call the "Beautiful Gate" the "Royal Doors".
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« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2005, 09:02:31 AM »

Yup, because it is through them that the King enters...
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« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2005, 09:46:10 PM »

Now forget I ever said this, because the current practice in english speaking Orthodoxy is to call the "Beautiful Gate" the "Royal Doors".

Actually, this not so much "English-speaking practice" as "Slavic practice". Archpriest John Shaw summarizes this well (but do note that what he says about the Russian Church is equally applicable to the other Slavic Churches):

Quote
In Russian, the term "Tsarskie Vrata" always refers to the Royal Gates of the iconostasis -- and to no others.

Consequently, when people who belong to the Russian Church speak English about these things, the words "Royal Gates" refer specifically to those of the iconostasis, and not to the doors between the narthex and the main body of the church.

In Greek, the Royal Gates are usually called "Oraia Pili", or "Beautiful Gates".

In Byzantine monastic or other ancient churches there were ceremonial doors between the narthex and the nave, and in some rubrics they are referred to; but in America this term is not used. Either there are no such doors, or else they serve a very secondary purpose.

I hope this is helpful!

--Julio
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« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2005, 07:37:01 AM »

Whether you're coming in as he is censing the church or re-entering after a trip to the bathroom during the beginning of the Gospel reading, it's been practice for us to wait at the doors of the narthex.

Why would you want to take a bath during the Liturgy? Tongue

(For those unfamiliar with it, I was just making light of a trans-pond linguistic difference - it always sounds odd to my British ears to hear someone refer to the lavatory as the bathroom.ÂÂ  Where I live, the bathroom is where you take a bath).

More seriously, I have read in a few places, and Jennifer mentioned above, that it would be seen as inappropriate to wear something sleeveless to an Orthodox liturgy, but, while my experience is limited, this doesn't seem to be universally the case.ÂÂ  Certainly, at my parish, a number of the ladies, especially during the warmer months, have been wearing sleeveless attire, including Matushka.ÂÂ  They don't wear anything that would be considered unseemly, but they wear sensible clothing to suit the weather so that they can worship without the additional distraction of being excessively hot.ÂÂ  I found it odd at first, not because I have a problem with what they wear, but because I had always read that it just isn't done in Orthodox Churches, when this clearly isn't the case.

Having said that, I am told that (and this is a generalisation), American culture is a lot more reserved about these things anyway.ÂÂ  This may be more cultural than anything else.ÂÂ  Just a suggestion.
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« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2005, 07:50:59 AM »

Michael,

Why would you want to lave during the Liturgy? ...LOL!
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« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2005, 08:09:24 AM »

Yes, yes, I'm familiar with the Latin root. Tongue

Still, it's the way that language has developed.ÂÂ  Colloquially, we'll refer to the "lavvy" rather than the "lavatory".ÂÂ  "Lavatory" is the more polite word, although the more usual "toilet" is perfectly socially acceptable.

(Incidentally, I've always been confused when people say they're going to the bathroom and then go to the toilet.  I always think that if they take a bath in the toilet that I'd dread to imagine what they do in their bathtubs Huh)
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« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2005, 08:11:53 AM »

chuckle...
I always liked 'water closet'
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« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2005, 09:14:05 AM »

Since we've normally got the bath in with the toilet (except for those early pioneering days when the toilet was just a hole in the backyard..Ahhh!) it's rather nicer to call it the bathroom instead of the toiletroom. The more polite term here is 'restroom,' and you also get "ladies' rooom" and "men's room" and 'facilities" Cheesy
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