I went to an Antiochian church this past Sunday and it was the first time I had been in an Antiochian church since before I 'doxed and became accustomed to the liturgy.
At this liturgy after the first and second antiphons, the subdeacon intoned the Little Ektenia's while standing facing the Royal Doors just as a deacon would, except of course he was not raising up his orarion.
I was unaware that a subdeacon could do this - is this an Antiochian thing??
I thought that a subdeacon assisted the bishop and when a bishop was not present, then they basically serve as an altar server.
Also, at the ambo prayer everybody in the church said it out loud with
the priest. I've never seen or heard of this being done - is this also an Antiochian practice?
Finally, as it was Forgiveness Sunday, the asking of forgiveness began immediately after the end of the liturgy, so there was not an opportunity to venerate the cross (there was no separate "forgiveness Vespers" service - so I am not quite sure what to call this). After everyone had finished, the priest said "due to time constraints, there would be no veneration of the cross, only a simple blessing" and he just blessed everyone with his hand and that was that.
Is the veneration of the cross something that can be just skipped over?
Is it a "necessary thing" to venerate the cross it at the end of every Liturgy and/or Vespers?