Author Topic: Bringing Tithes into the Church  (Read 998 times)

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Offline Matthew79

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Bringing Tithes into the Church
« on: November 19, 2015, 01:01:36 AM »
When our priest first arrived at our mission, the tradition was for one of the priest's children to go forward with the offering plate, venerate the icon of the Theotokos on the iconostasis, collect everyone's tithes and place it on a table in the narthex underneath another icon of the Theotokos. Now, the plate is not passed anymore, but remains in the same spot in the narthex and anyone who has a gift places it there on the way in.
Our mission is named after the Kursk Root Icon (but the icon the tithe is under is not the Kursk icon).

I have also seen something similar in another parish that I have visited dozens of times. They leave the donation box in the back of the room, placed in front of an icon. This icon is not the one the parish is named after either.

Is this common across the Orthodox Church, and if so, what is the significance behind it? It seems that it isn't just a coincidence, but I am wondering what it means or what is the tradition trying to communicate?

Offline Theophania

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2015, 01:11:13 AM »
I've only ever seen that once, in a ROCOR parish. The donation basket was kept in the back of the sanctuary next to the candles for purchase, which had their own donation basket.
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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2015, 01:52:39 AM »
Ah, yes, the tradition of "where the most convenient place is to put the collection plate".
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2015, 01:10:29 PM »
I wonder how common it is to pass a collection plate or basket among the congregants outside of North America.  From what I can tell of my family's experience, it's not done in India.  There is a receptacle in the church for donations, and if you have an offering, you place it there.  If not, then don't walk over to the box.  But the box will not walk over to you. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2015, 01:14:50 PM »
I wonder how common it is to pass a collection plate or basket among the congregants outside of North America.  From what I can tell of my family's experience, it's not done in India.  There is a receptacle in the church for donations, and if you have an offering, you place it there.  If not, then don't walk over to the box.  But the box will not walk over to you.


This is true here too.....our box is at the back. 
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2015, 01:16:00 PM »
As a child, the pastor would always threaten to pass the plate around a second time until the needs of the church were met. He also railed against "5th Sunday cheapskates" who were those iniquitous members who did not give offering on the 5th Sunday of the month because they had already given twice that week (from a biweekly paycheck).
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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2015, 01:44:35 PM »
I wonder how common it is to pass a collection plate or basket among the congregants outside of North America.  From what I can tell of my family's experience, it's not done in India.  There is a receptacle in the church for donations, and if you have an offering, you place it there.  If not, then don't walk over to the box.  But the box will not walk over to you.

It is done both in Greece and here in my British parish. There are boxes, but those are mostly for the benefit of people who pop in outside service hours and/or want to be discreet about depositing a considerable sum. In the basket you see mostly coins.
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Offline Dominika

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2015, 01:56:16 PM »
I wonder how common it is to pass a collection plate or basket among the congregants outside of North America.  From what I can tell of my family's experience, it's not done in India.  There is a receptacle in the church for donations, and if you have an offering, you place it there.  If not, then don't walk over to the box.  But the box will not walk over to you.

Both in Poland and Serbia there are two men and/or women going around the church with the baskets to collect money, at certain point of the Liturgy (more or less when the hymn to the Theotkos is chanted) and sometimes during the festal vigil.

As for the main question, in Serbia there is a custom of a hole in the table where the icon is placed (not only the patron or of the feast, but usually also in other ones in the church) and it's the place to put the money. If there is no such hole, people leave the money on the icon - and that looks ridiculous.
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2015, 02:25:33 PM »
I've never been a fan of "passing the collection plate" during the LIturgy.  First off, in my parish and in others, it is done during the singing of the megalynarion, so, rather than focusing on the hymn, people are busy getting their money out and using that as another excuse to talk, etc.  But we also have a box in the back for money. I don't see why we can't just use that and ditch the collection plates.
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Offline Matthew79

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2015, 02:59:07 PM »
Well, my question isn't so much to pass the plate or to not pass the plate. I am more interested in the veneration of an icon or placing the money before an icon. True, in an Orthodox Church it is hard to find a place where there is not an icon, but this looks like it is intentionally placed, and why the veneration?

When I was still inquiring into the church, this was a challenge for me because in pagan worship they would place food, incense, etc. Before their idols as an offering to appease their gods.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2015, 04:41:18 PM »
Well, my question isn't so much to pass the plate or to not pass the plate. I am more interested in the veneration of an icon or placing the money before an icon. True, in an Orthodox Church it is hard to find a place where there is not an icon, but this looks like it is intentionally placed, and why the veneration?

I suspect it's nothing more than a pietising of a routine. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Offline biro

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2015, 04:47:18 PM »
We have a big box on the front desk in the foyer, for the stewardship.

They pass two baskets before the Our Father in the liturgy.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2015, 03:20:37 PM »
Well, my question isn't so much to pass the plate or to not pass the plate. I am more interested in the veneration of an icon or placing the money before an icon. True, in an Orthodox Church it is hard to find a place where there is not an icon, but this looks like it is intentionally placed, and why the veneration?

I suspect it's nothing more than a pietising of a routine.

I agree. In my church, there are several boxes for money: general fund, building fund, charity, and missions. Thank God we don't pass the plate during services, although we sometims make special; collections during the agape meal (coffee hour).

Offline Tallitot

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2015, 03:37:39 PM »
A co-worker was telling me that now that her church (a United Methodist church) accepts online donations very few people drop a physical donation of cash or check in the offering plate anymore.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Bringing Tithes into the Church
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2015, 05:34:44 PM »
My wife and I both give to our respective churches by having our banks auto e-check it to the church. It is just way easier that way. The finance guy at my parish couldn't figure out who was sending the checks until he met me one day and realized who I was.
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