Author Topic: History of the Orans posture in the Liturgy  (Read 436 times)

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Offline Mercurius1

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History of the Orans posture in the Liturgy
« on: March 07, 2018, 08:52:21 AM »
Something I have noticed since becoming Orthodox is the use of the orans posture during the Liturgy, specifically the Lords Prayer. Coming from Roman Catholicism I was told that this crept in due to influences from charismatic Protestantism. Is this the case with Orthodoxy or has it always been used?


I’ve also noticed it’s not uniform. The Antiochian parish I attend has people that do this, however, I haven’t seen anyone at an OCA parish do it. Not sure about the Greeks


I know this is an ancient form of prayer that predates Christianity, just interested when it started being used in the Liturgy

Offline Dominika

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Re: History of the Orans posture in the Liturgy
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 02:36:36 PM »
It's been always in Orthodoxy. It's more common for the Middleasterns. I'm the unique at my Polish Orthodox parish having such posture at Our Father prayer, but frankly speaking, I love it.
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: History of the Orans posture in the Liturgy
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2018, 03:29:08 PM »
Orans posture can be done in a subtle and reverent way that isn't offensive to European cultural sensibilities of modesty and humility. If one is fully extending his/her arms, they are probably doing it wrong. I've attended Catholic masses in the United States where people really draw attention by visually signaling the room toward themselves. How I do it (sometimes) in my Slavic-based parish during the Lord's Prayer mirrors how I've seen it done by Copts, Ethiopians, Antiochene (West) Syrians, etc. There's nothing offensive or distracting about it at all. The charismatic approach is far more dramatic and distracting.

Coptic style:



A Brazilian Pentecostal:



To me there's a world of difference between the two. I'm certainly open to people praying that way privately, but the gestures seems too intimate for a public setting. I don't want to limit people or judge their prayer at all, but we have to be mindful of good order in public assembly, which means that there is a line that can be crossed. So this is kind of the place where I've personally drawn that line in terms of what is appropriate, but I welcome any other ideas.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 03:30:26 PM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline Subdeacon Michael

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Re: History of the Orans posture in the Liturgy
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 03:13:22 PM »
The orans position during the Our Father is standard practice among the laity and clergy in my jurisdiction.  I don't know whether this is due to the fact that our founding communities were once part of the Coptic church or whether it stems from an earlier influence in our history but  find it very beautiful.
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Offline Mercurius1

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Re: History of the Orans posture in the Liturgy
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2018, 11:47:16 PM »
It's been always in Orthodoxy. It's more common for the Middleasterns. I'm the unique at my Polish Orthodox parish having such posture at Our Father prayer, but frankly speaking, I love it.

Makes sense why I’ve seen it at my parish (Antiochians) and not OCA parishes. Is it common among the Greeks?

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: History of the Orans posture in the Liturgy
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2018, 11:54:37 PM »
It's been always in Orthodoxy. It's more common for the Middleasterns. I'm the unique at my Polish Orthodox parish having such posture at Our Father prayer, but frankly speaking, I love it.

Makes sense why I’ve seen it at my parish (Antiochians) and not OCA parishes. Is it common among the Greeks?

I want to say no, but the fact is many Greeks in America seem to do as little in the way of (for want of a better term) physical worship as possible and I don't know Greeks in Greece.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 11:59:26 PM by Porter ODoran »
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Offline Dominika

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Re: History of the Orans posture in the Liturgy
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2018, 06:35:02 AM »
It's been always in Orthodoxy. It's more common for the Middleasterns. I'm the unique at my Polish Orthodox parish having such posture at Our Father prayer, but frankly speaking, I love it.

Makes sense why I’ve seen it at my parish (Antiochians) and not OCA parishes. Is it common among the Greeks?

As for Greek in Greece - I don't know, it may vary from island to island ;) However, I haven't seen this in Cyprus.
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