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Mor Ephrem
The Fourteenth Apostle
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"The grace of God has appeared..."

« on: March 19, 2003, 12:46:22 PM »

All right, EO friends, time for you to help me out!  I plan on visiting one of the local parishes around here (OCA) for the Presanctified Liturgy tonight, but since we have no parallel in our Church, I do not know what to do.  I know the basic structure of the service, but don't know "the mechanics".  When are the prostrations/kneeling done, for example?  That is the only thing that comes to mind, but anything else you can contribute before 5.00pm EST would be appreciated.   Tongue

"...you could not bear, Master, in the compassion of your mercy to watch the human race being tyrannised by the devil, but you came and saved us. We acknowledge your grace, we proclaim your mercy, we do not conceal your benevolence..."
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2003, 02:29:04 PM »

Just do what everyone else does (within your comfort zone).  The main kneeling/prostrating times that I can think of off the top of my head (at least, what I'm used to at my OCA parish) are:
Quick prostration while the priest does his think during the third reading during the Kathisma
Prostrating during the "Let my prayer arise..."
prostration while the priest brings out, "The light of Christ illumines all..."
prostration during the Great Entrance (it is a silent entrance)

These are the main ones, besides others during the Prayer of St. Ephraim and others.  Have fun.
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2003, 02:49:02 PM »

Mor, my brother, I wouldn't worry too much about it--just do what you see others doing.  If the church has pews it will be difficult, if well nigh impossible, to do the prescribed prostrations anyway UNLESS you step out into the aisle (as you may see some few doing for this purpose) or you are standing in the back of the church.

At any rate, a full prostration is done immediately after the second Prokeimenon when the priest comes out with a lighted candle, holds it upright and proclaims: "The light of Christ illumines all!"

Another full prostration is done during the censing while the priest and choir (or choir alone) solemnly sing repeatedly (often as a trio) "Let my prayer arise like incense" while the priest stands before the Holy Table censing continuously.

And finally, a full prostration is done during the solemn entrance with the Presanctified Holy Gifts (out through the deacon door and then through the Royal Doors) with the priest saying nothing.  Indeed, even the choir is silent for a few moments at this point.

And, oh yes, the Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian is done twice during the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in a typical OCA parish.  Just watch the priest and do the prostrations with him at that time.

You'll do just fine, Mor.  With an Oriental Orthodox orientation, you'll fit in imperceptibly, Big Guy!  The Presanctified Liturgy is made for the likes of us, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox alike.   Grin

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