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Psalti Boy
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« on: February 25, 2006, 08:45:09 PM »

Someone recently told me that in some jurisdictions, it is a tradition/custom to cense the home on Saturday, saying a prayer while walking through the home.  Anyone heard of this, and if it is so, what is the proper way to do this?

Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2006, 09:01:09 PM »

Someone recently told me that in some jurisdictions, it is a tradition/custom to cense the home on Saturday, saying a prayer while walking through the home.  Anyone heard of this, and if it is so, what is the proper way to do this?

This is a Greek custom. The house is censed on the eve of Sunday and all major feasts, begining with the Icons, the persons and the rooms. Different Greek families have different traditions about censing, so there is no "proper" way. We Greeks also incense the graves of our departed loved ones.
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2006, 09:27:14 PM »

Sometimes the way we do it is cense the icons with the small censer, then go throughout the house saying some prayers for good health "igeia"/prosperity etc, and the doorways are censed. Then we could also cense 3 times in the form of a cross, starting with east, west, north, then south. People are censed, then the censer is laid to rest next to/under the burning vigil lamp where we continue to add incense as the evening goes by.

Also, when easter comes by, we first walk into all the doors of the house with our right foot first..just a tradition.
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2006, 09:33:45 PM »

It is also a custom among the Armenians to cense the home on Saturday nights.  You just carry the incense holder through every room of the house, praying.  I heard my priest say once, however, that you don't need to do the bathrooms.   Smiley   It is also a custom to burn incense at the graves of loved ones.
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2006, 09:37:38 PM »

Thank you all for the clarifications.  It is very helpful.
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2006, 10:39:09 PM »

I have heard of this custom among the Greeks and was curious whether there any specific prayers said when doing this?
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2006, 10:50:12 PM »

I have heard that Psalm 50 is commonly used while censing the home.
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2006, 02:35:58 AM »

I'm not sure if the pious custom mentioned here has its roots in this, but I'd be willing to bet there is at least some connection.  Before an all-night vigil on the Holy Mountain a priest would cense the entire kathaliko (main church) in complete darkness (save one candle so he could see where he was going!) and total silence.  This took up to ten minutes.  Then as soon as he finished the exclamation - Δόξα Ï„á½´ ἁγία καὶ ὁμοουσίω, καὶ ζωοποιῶ καὶ ἀδιαιρέτω Τριάδι, πάντοτε, νύν, καὶ ἀεί, καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων (Glory to the holy, consubstantial, life-giving and undivided Trinity, always, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.  Amen).  Then would follow such a beautiful and amazing set of hymns glorifying the Trinity.  And then 12 hours later liturgy would start!  
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2006, 06:49:06 AM »

I have heard of this custom among the Greeks and was curious whether there any specific prayers said when doing this?

In our family, we say the Trisagion prayers. I went for dinner at a neighbouring greek family one Saturday, and they sang "Phos Ilaron" "O Gladsome Light" together. The censer is also used for burning other objects- such as the old wick and paper used to tend the vigil lamp each day, since placing them in the garbage is considered disrespectful. We also burn the dust cleaned from the Icons with the paper or cotton wool used to clean them in the censer. They're very handy things to have, especially in the Summer when we don't have a fire burning in the fireplace to burn the old wicks. Before the meals of major feasts, our Mother would add a pinch of each dish she had prepared to the incense and cense the table. (And we couldn't sit down to eat until one of us three boys had taken a plate of food around to 94 year old Mrs. Maloo who lived alone next door and never left the house.)
 
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2006, 07:42:15 AM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8301.msg109166#msg109166 date=1140935758]
I'm not sure if the pious custom mentioned here has its roots in this, but I'd be willing to bet there is at least some connection.  Before an all-night vigil on the Holy Mountain a priest would cense the entire kathaliko (main church) in complete darkness (save one candle so he could see where he was going!) and total silence.  This took up to ten minutes.  Then as soon as he finished the exclamation - Δόξα Ï„á½´ ἁγία καὶ ὁμοουσίω, καὶ ζωοποιῶ καὶ ἀδιαιρέτω Τριάδι, πάντοτε, νύν, καὶ ἀεί, καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων (Glory to the holy, consubstantial, life-giving and undivided Trinity, always, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.  Amen).  Then would follow such a beautiful and amazing set of hymns glorifying the Trinity.  And then 12 hours later liturgy would start!  [/quote]

I think while having a discussion with a monk a few years ago I asked and he said he thought this was the origin.  In the vigil, the hymns glorifying the trinity are verses added to the end of Psalm 103/104.  Normally the beginning of the Psalm is read, until verse 27, after which the verses are sung, with additions to the verses glorifying the Trinity.  It is so beautiful to hear them and sing them, they are some of my favorite.

We try and do a few vigils here at school per year (our next one will be for Annunciation), but they never go through the dorm with the censer (and we're not allowed to use them in our rooms - fire hazard).
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2006, 08:25:59 AM »

The Serbs usually say the house blessing prayers when they do those types of "lay" censings.  But then again...my dad's a priest so this may not be a common practice amongst the lay people....i'll ask though.  
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2006, 10:33:05 AM »

Quote
In the vigil, the hymns glorifying the trinity are verses added to the end of Psalm 103/104.  Normally the beginning of the Psalm is read, until verse 27, after which the verses are sung, with additions to the verses glorifying the Trinity.  It is so beautiful to hear them and sing them, they are some of my favorite.

By chance do you know where I could get the text to these in either Greek or English?  Even Slavonic works, but it will be awhile before I can read that...  
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2006, 01:11:29 PM »

Cleveland, I know that one seminarian @ Holy Cross uses the top of a lamp to burn incense, lol.
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2006, 01:13:58 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8301.msg109185#msg109185 date=1140964385]
By chance do you know where I could get the text to these in either Greek or English?  Even Slavonic works, but it will be awhile before I can read that...   [/quote]

As soon as I find my book, I'll put them up here on the site in Greek (the only way I have them).
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2006, 01:14:52 PM »

Cleveland, I know that one seminarian @ Holy Cross uses the top of a lamp to burn incense, lol.

Oh, there are quite a few... No open flames or heating elements allowed, and one has to be careful with the smoke lest they set off the alarms.
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2006, 02:10:31 PM »

Quote
As soon as I find my book, I'll put them up here on the site in Greek (the only way I have them).

Ευχαριστώ πολύ.  What book are you taking them from?  

There are a lot of little "hidden" serives that 99% of Orthodox people probably have never heard or even know they exist - such as the Trinitarian hymns being discussed or one of my personal favorites is midnight hour on Sunday mornings.  Besides the canon, I love the "Αξιον εστιν" chanted immediantly following the canon.  I have no idea if there is an English translation of it out there since I know it only in Greek (having learned to chant it at Philotheou).    
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2006, 11:17:25 PM »

I got these from a music book called the Mousikos Pandektis, published by Fos (I think).  Here at school, we sing them on the Church's feast (Sep 14), and at long vigils.  The parts in regular face are part of the psalm, the parts in bold are the additional Trinitarian phrases and/or the refrain (Δόξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια).

Ανοίξαντος Σου την χείρα τα σύμπαντα πλησθήσονται χρηστότητος αποστρέψαντος δε Σου το πρόσωπον ταραχήσονται. Δόξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια.

Αντανελείς το πνεύμα αυτών και εκλείψουσι και εις τον χούν αυτών επιστρέψουσι.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια.

Εξαποστελείς το ÃŽÂ νεύμα Σου και κτισθήσονται και ανακαινίεις το πρόσωπον της γής.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ÃŽÂ άτερ, δόξα Σοι Υιέ, δόξα Σοι το ÃŽÂ νεύμα το Άγιον.    ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια.

Ήτω η δόξα Κυρίου εις τους αιώνας ευρανθήσεται Κύριος επί τοις έργοις αυτού.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι Άγιε, δόξα Σοι Κύριε, δόξα Σοι Βασιλεύ ουράνιε.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια.

Ο επιβλέπων επι την γήν και ποιών αυτήν τρέμειν, ο απτόμενος των ορέων και καπνίζονται.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι Άγιε, δόξα Σοι Κύριε, δόξα Σοι Βασιλεύ ουράνιε, δόξα Σοι το ÃŽÂ νεύμα το Άγιον.    ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια.

Άσω τω Κυρίω εν τη ζωή μου ψαλώ τω Θεώ μου έως υπάρχω.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι Τρισυπόστατε Θεότης ÃŽÂ άτερ Υιέ και ÃŽÂ νεύμα, σε προσκυνούμεν και δοξάζομεν.    ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια.

Ηδυνθείη αυτώ η διαλογή μου επι τω Κυρίω.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ÃŽÂ άτερ άναρχε, δόξα Σοι Υιέ συνάναρχε, δόξα Σοι το ÃŽÂ νεύμα το Άγιον το ομοούσιον και ομόθρονον, Τριάς Αγία δόξα Σοι.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια.

Εκλείποι εν αμαρτωλοί από της γής και άνομοι ώστε μη υπάρχειν αυτούς.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ÃŽÂ άτερ, δόξα Σοι Υιέ. Δόξα Σοι το ÃŽÂ νεύμα το Άγιον, Τριάς Αγία δόξα Σοι.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια.

Ευλόγει η ψυχή μου τον Κύριον.  ÃƒÆ’ŽÅ¸ ήλιος έγνω την δύσιν αυτού, έθου σκότος και εγένετο νύξ.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι Βασιλεύ εουράνιε, δόξα Σοι ÃŽÂ αντοκράτορ σύν Υιώ και ÃŽÂ νεύματι.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια.

Ώς εμεγαλύνθη τα έργα Σου Κύριε, πάντα εν σοφία εποίησας.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ÃŽÂ άτερ αγέννητε, δόξα Σοι Υιέ εγέννητε, δόξα Σοι το ÃŽÂ νεύμα το Άγιον το εκ του ÃŽÂ ατρός εκπορευόμενον και εν Υιώ αναπαθόμενον, Τριάς Αγία δόξα Σοι.  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€ÃÅ’ξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια.

Δόξα Πατρί.... Και νυν....

Αλληλούια, αλληλούια, αλληλούια, δόξα Σοι ο Θεός (γ’)  ÃƒÆ’Žâ€” ελπίς ημών Κύριε δόξα Σοι.
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2006, 02:12:24 AM »

Thank you for posting that. For the sake of those who don't read Greek, here is a quick translation.  One thing to keep in mind is that chanting this (properly) takes almost half an hour... it is really amazing.

When Thou openest Thy hand, all things shall be filled with goodness; when Thou turnest away Thy face, they shall be troubled. Glory to Thee, O God.  Alleluia.  

Thou wilt take their spirit, and they shall cease; and unto their dust shall they return.  Glory to Thee, O God.  Alleluia.  

Thou wilt send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.  Glory to Thee, Father.  Glory to Thee, Son.  Glory to Thee, Holy Spirit.  Glory to Thee, O God.  Alleluia.  

Let the glory of the Lord be unto the ages; the Lord will rejoice in His works.  Glory to Thee, O Holy One.  Glory to Thee, O Lord.  Glory to Thee, O Heavenly King.  Glory to Thee, O God.  Alleluia.  

Who looketh on the earth and maketh it tremble, Who toucheth the mountains and they smoke. Glory to Thee, O Holy One.  Glory to Thee, O Lord.  Glory to Thee, O Heavenly King.  Glory to Thee, O God.  Alleluia

I will sing unto the Lord throughout my life, I will chant to my God for as long as I have my being.  Glory to the tri-hyspostatic Divinity: Father, Son and Spirit.  Thee we worship and glorify.  Glory to Thee, O God.  Alleluia.    

May my words be sweet unto Him, and I will rejoice in the Lord.  Glory to Thee, beginningless Father.  Glory to Thee, cobeginningless Son.  Glory to Thee, O Holy Spirit, consubstantial and equal in dominion.  O Holy Trinity, Glory to Thee.  Glory to Thee, O God.  Alleluia.  

O that sinners would cease from the earth, and they that work iniquity, that they should be no more.  Glory to Thee, Father.  Glory to Thee, Son.  Glory to Thee, Holy  Spirit.  O Holy Trinity, glory to Thee.  Glory to Thee, O God.  Alleluia.

Bless the Lord, O my soul. The sun knoweth his going down. Thou appointedst the darkness, and there was the night.  Glory to Thee, O Heavenly King.  Glory to Thee, the Almighty with the Son and the Spirit.  Glory to Thee, O God.  Alleluia.
How magnified are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all.  Glory to Thee, the unbegotten Father.  Glory to Thee, the begotten Son.  Glory to Thee, the Holy Spirit who proceedeth from the Father and resteth in the Son.  O Holy Trinity, glory to Thee.  Glory to Thee, O God. Alleluia.  

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever, and unto the ages and ages. Amen.

Allelulia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Glory to Thee, O God.  (3)  Our hope, O Lord, glory to Thee.
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2006, 05:42:16 AM »

Very good translation.

Question: here at school, at the beginning of the vigil while the Priest is censing with the Kazion (small hand-censer) before Doxa ti agia... the choir sings "Eiselevsomai eis ton agion oikon sou..." in a slow melody.  Have you heard that done at the monasteries?
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2006, 10:10:54 AM »

Quote
Very good translation.

Thanks.  Although the credit for the verses from Pslam 103 belongs to HTM.  

Quote
here at school, at the beginning of the vigil while the Priest is censing with the Kazion (small hand-censer) before Doxa ti agia... the choir sings "Eiselevsomai eis ton agion oikon sou..." in a slow melody.  Have you heard that done at the monasteries?

No, not like that.  Complete silence, except for the bells on the censor.  It is a sort of eerie feel...
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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2006, 10:38:11 AM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8301.msg109272#msg109272 date=1141049454]
No, not like that.  Complete silence, except for the bells on the censor.  It is a sort of eerie feel...
[/quote]

Interesting.  I can relate with the eerie feel - kinda like the moment of silence during the Pascha vigil before the priest exclaims "Come, receive the Light" (which is my favorite hymn of the Church).
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« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2006, 11:30:00 AM »

Nektarios, you can get a CD of Staurday night vespers chantedi n english (4rth tone) by Eikona and they sing this Enixandaria in english with a similar translation you have posted. Their texts are almost exactly the same as those published by HTM in MA.
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« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2006, 11:58:48 AM »

I didn't know that Eikona did the Anoixandaria.....
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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2006, 05:42:53 PM »

And Here's the sheet music in English for the Anoixandaria.
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« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2006, 06:23:20 PM »

Very nice.  I had never heard of it in English before.  I guess that's what I get for hanging around Greeks too much.  
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« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2006, 06:43:45 PM »

Very nice music - which does a good job (after a cursory examination of 1 1/2 pages) of staying true to the Byzantine...
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« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2008, 04:04:51 PM »

Can anyone tell me if it is appropriate for a laymen to swing a censor? I have got the impression that it is not and am wondering why.
thx for any help.
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« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2008, 04:24:27 PM »

Can anyone tell me if it is appropriate for a laymen to swing a censor?

Certainly, provided the lay person is a Baptized & Chrismated Orthodox Christian in good standing at his or her parish, and they are doing the censing with proper respect and prayer.

There are even cases in which a layperson censes a functioning Orthodox temple during a prayer service. For example, at some convents that don't have a priest attached, the Abbess or one of the nuns who have been blessed by the Bishop to serve in the altar will cense everything with a small hand-censer, pretty much as a priest or deacon would: altar area, Bishop's throne, Iconostasis, etc.
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« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2008, 10:42:20 PM »

Certainly, provided the lay person is a Baptized & Chrismated Orthodox Christian in good standing at his or her parish, and they are doing the censing with proper respect and prayer.

There are even cases in which a layperson censes a functioning Orthodox temple during a prayer service. For example, at some convents that don't have a priest attached, the Abbess or one of the nuns who have been blessed by the Bishop to serve in the altar will cense everything with a small hand-censer, pretty much as a priest or deacon would: altar area, Bishop's throne, Iconostasis, etc.
thanks for the help! i know many Orthodox keep a hanging censor or a hand censor in their Icon Corner; i was led to believe that only a priest could actually swing a censor.
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« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2008, 11:28:00 AM »

Just a short note, my computer does not support Greek text on it so much of what you  put in your comments above where unreadable.  Thanks to Father Anastasios for publishing the English text of one of the  quotes.

Thomas
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« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2008, 02:29:03 PM »

thanks for the help! i know many Orthodox keep a hanging censor or a hand censor in their Icon Corner; i was led to believe that only a priest could actually swing a censor.

Deacons incense too.  And we were taught to gently swing the censor back and forth during the Great Entrance as altar servers.  Granted we didn't swing them full tilt like the priest/deacon does while incensing the church.  And I was told to swing the censor during the Great Entrance as an altar server by the Metropolitan.
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« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2008, 04:29:36 PM »

Deacons incense too.  And we were taught to gently swing the censor back and forth during the Great Entrance as altar servers.  Granted we didn't swing them full tilt like the priest/deacon does while incensing the church.  And I was told to swing the censor during the Great Entrance as an altar server by the Metropolitan.
Interesting. Would you do the same while censing your house?
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« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2008, 05:41:51 PM »

Interesting. Would you do the same while censing your house?

The Greek custom is to use a small hand-held censer without bells in the home (which even Priests do in their own homes). The swinging censer with bells is reserved for public liturgical use (the bells indicate it's public nature). When used liturgically in church, even the hand-held censers used by deacons and Priests will have bells on them.
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« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2008, 05:51:51 PM »

Someone recently told me that in some jurisdictions, it is a tradition/custom to cense the home on Saturday, saying a prayer while walking through the home.  Anyone heard of this, and if it is so, what is the proper way to do this?

Thanks

Good tradition!

I thought it was local to Ethiopian Tradition.

I beleive the prayers you use vary by tradition.

Share this with your wife (if you are married).
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« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2008, 08:26:09 PM »

Thank you for the blessed memory.  My devoutly Greek Orthodox maternal Grandmother used to do it.  You've reminded me of my blessed time with her.  "May her Memory be Eternal."
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« Reply #35 on: September 28, 2008, 06:50:50 PM »

And Here's the sheet music in English for the Anoixandaria.

It's a long shot, but does anyone still have this?
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« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2008, 11:16:59 PM »

Deacons incense too.  And we were taught to gently swing the censor back and forth during the Great Entrance as altar servers.  Granted we didn't swing them full tilt like the priest/deacon does while incensing the church.  And I was told to swing the censor during the Great Entrance as an altar server by the Metropolitan.
Interesting. Would you do the same while censing your house?


Well when incensing the house it is standard practice to use a hand-held censor, not the church censor that has chains and bells Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2008, 12:16:10 AM »

And Here's the sheet music in English for the Anoixandaria.

It's a long shot, but does anyone still have this?
Is it possible to fit on a post?
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« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2008, 10:25:51 AM »

Deacons incense too.  And we were taught to gently swing the censor back and forth during the Great Entrance as altar servers.  Granted we didn't swing them full tilt like the priest/deacon does while incensing the church.  And I was told to swing the censor during the Great Entrance as an altar server by the Metropolitan.
Interesting. Would you do the same while censing your house?


Well when incensing the house it is standard practice to use a hand-held censor, not the church censor that has chains and bells Smiley

Exactly!

Of course a priest may use the "chains and bell" type censor used in church services if he is blessing the house.
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« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2008, 05:50:45 PM »

And Here's the sheet music in English for the Anoixandaria.

It's a long shot, but does anyone still have this?

I think I do; I'll check at home tonight.
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« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2008, 09:14:40 PM »

Quote
I think I do; I'll check at home tonight.

Never mind; I just checked and I don't have it. I'll email the owner of digitalsynaxis, though (an Orthodox priest I know) and see if I can snag a copy of him, as he should still have it.
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« Reply #41 on: October 09, 2008, 04:15:41 PM »

And Here's the sheet music in English for the Anoixandaria.

It's a long shot, but does anyone still have this?

I think I do; I'll check at home tonight.

Here you go!
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