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Epistle Reading

biro

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I wonder if it's because they wanted to distinguish it from the importance of the Gospel? Just a guess on my part.
 

Benjamin the Red

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The only parishes I've attended that sit during the Epistle are those that have pews. Parishes that only have seating along the sides will stand for the entire Liturgy.
 

LizaSymonenko

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Even with pews, we have people stand. 

It's not strictly enforced and nobody cares, or should care, what others are doing.

However, we are told to definitely stand at certain points of the Liturgy - Gospel Reading, etc.
 

AWR

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I was told by my priest, that only the priests may sit during the epistle reading because his office is sort of like the Apostles'.  No one else should sit, but many people just do as the priest does.
 

podkarpatska

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AWR said:
I was told by my priest, that only the priests may sit during the epistle reading because his office is sort of like the Apostles'.  No one else should sit, but many people just do as the priest does.
I should have been clear, the priest would always retreat behind the Altar and sit during the epistle. In our parish, the lay people did not. although, like lemmings they always follow the lead of the Pani-matka/Matuska in the first pew, so I suppose if the next Pani-matka sits...well they will sit. I always laugh when I remember my late mother getting so wrapped up in thought that she didn't exit immediately after Liturgy. It was hilarious watching the folks downstairs from my perch at the cantor's lectern in the choir loft.
 

HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

In the Ethiopian jurisdiction, we don't ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

Hiwot

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genesisone said:
podkarpatska said:
No one has ever sat in my parish, when I first saw it, I was floored.
Pews are there to keep you off the floor.  ;D
good one! ;D

I think I would be floored as well if I were to see people start to sit during the readings, When I read the question I was like " what?" :)
 

HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
In the Ethiopian jurisdiction, we don't ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
See. told y'all ;)

Hiwot said:
genesisone said:
podkarpatska said:
No one has ever sat in my parish, when I first saw it, I was floored.
Pews are there to keep you off the floor.  ;D
good one! ;D

I think I would be floored as well if I were to see people start to sit during the readings, When I read the question I was like " what?" :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

Hiwot

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podkarpatska said:
AWR said:
I was told by my priest, that only the priests may sit during the epistle reading because his office is sort of like the Apostles'.  No one else should sit, but many people just do as the priest does.
I should have been clear, the priest would always retreat behind the Altar and sit during the epistle. In our parish, the lay people did not. although, like lemmings they always follow the lead of the Pani-matka/Matuska in the first pew, so I suppose if the next Pani-matka sits...well they will sit. I always laugh when I remember my late mother getting so wrapped up in thought that she didn't exit immediately after Liturgy. It was hilarious watching the folks downstairs from my perch at the cantor's lectern in the choir loft.
you reminded me of when I was a child, and went to the liturgy it was so long before it starts and after so me and my sister will sit on some part of it. the old ladys will say to us, as we lingered between sitting down on the floor and getting up varying comands would be told to us: now get up, you can not sit now, now you can sit, get up, so we figured its easier if we follow one of the leading old lady. she will indicate with her hand for us to sit and extend her prayer staff when we have to get up. untill we realy got it. but before we did got , one time she forgot about us, and went on standing and my sister passed out. lol and the lady said if you can not stand up there is no problem you can sit anytime you do not feel well, she was very distressed that she forgot about us waiting for her to indicate when to sit.  :)
 

HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus CHrist!

Hiwot said:
so we figured its easier if we follow one of the leading old lady.
That is what I've always done ;)

I am a fit young man, 90 year old Ethiopian women continually motivate (and brow beat) me to ! Ten-i-sue Le-se-lot (stand up for prayer!)..

Of course I have always wondered why folks seem to be a bit backwards, as habitually whenever the Deacon calls for us to stand up for prayer, that is exactly when some elderly, ill, or tired folks momentarily take a seat for a rest, it is kind of weird.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

 

Hiwot

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HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus CHrist!

Hiwot said:
so we figured its easier if we follow one of the leading old lady.
That is what I've always done ;)

I am a fit young man, 90 year old Ethiopian women continually motivate (and brow beat) me to ! Ten-i-sue Le-se-lot (stand up for prayer!)..

Of course I have always wondered why folks seem to be a bit backwards, as habitually whenever the Deacon calls for us to stand up for prayer, that is exactly when some elderly, ill, or tired folks momentarily take a seat for a rest, it is kind of weird.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
LOL thats funny, yes the old ladies do that lol and the others: they are probably thinking there is plenty of that call , that will come ( as the decon will say a lot of 'rise up for prayer!' before the liturgy is done) that they can stand up for. :)
 

Hiwot

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podkarpatska said:
Humans are indeed unique as a species and our peculiarities do cross economic, cultural and religious borders with impunity. We tend to forget that here from time to time!
+1
Indeed!
 

scamandrius

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JamesRottnek said:
Why do we sit during the epistle reading?
Some need to because they simply cannot stand, most others are just lazy. My opinion, of course.
 

JamesRottnek

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scamandrius said:
JamesRottnek said:
Why do we sit during the epistle reading?
Some need to because they simply cannot stand, most others are just lazy. My opinion, of course.
I suppose so.  Though, I think there are others like me who sit because everyone else, en masse, sits down for the Epistle (and I'd rather not draw a bunch of attention to myself and distract from the Epistle).
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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We attend a Greek Orthodox Church here since we are so from our EOTC Church. They have pews, and alas, an organ too! But it's a wonderful Church, full of faithful Christian people. At first I wasn't used to wearing shoes and sitting down alot. In fact, I used to stand the whole time. But then I noticed that the Priest would actually motion for us to sit down at specific times, so I certainly didn't want to ignore the Priest. He always tells us when to stand and when to sit. The only problem is that now I am quite spoiled and will not be used to standing for 5 hours whenever I make it back to our own EOTC Church! lol.



Selam
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The only problem is that now I am quite spoiled and will not be used to standing for 5 hours whenever I make it back to our own EOTC Church! lol.
Regular Ethiopian Divine Liturgy takes 5 hours? Because the service is long or because there are lots of communing parishioners?

A Finnish liturgy takes about 2 hours. Some people seem to sit at some point but most people stand the whole service except during the sermons. Somewhere here some people wrote that it's inappropriate to sit on the floor but Finns do if there aren't any pews left.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Alpo said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The only problem is that now I am quite spoiled and will not be used to standing for 5 hours whenever I make it back to our own EOTC Church! lol.
Regular Ethiopian Divine Liturgy takes 5 hours? Because the service is long or because there are lots of communing parishioners?

A Finnish liturgy takes about 2 hours. Some people seem to sit at some point but most people stand the whole service except during the sermons. Somewhere here some people wrote that it's inappropriate to sit on the floor but Finns do if there aren't any pews left.
The actual Liturgy itself is probably two hours, but the pre-Litrugy prayers and the sermon afterwards (we do sit during the sermon) altogether last about 4-5 hours.


Selam
 

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i don't like sitting for the epistle, but I like getting up for the gospel.
 

augustin717

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We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel
 

HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Ortho_cat said:
augustin717 said:
We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel
even on a sunday?  ???
Yes, we also kneel and prostrate dozens of times on Sundays, hundreds even! (we don't have the Sunday prostration prohibitions of the Eastern Orthodox ;)  )

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

podkarpatska

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Basil 320 said:
Yes. "Wisdom, arise, let us hear the Holy Gospel..."
An interesting, trick question for our Koine translators or our OCS ones as well. Since many here hold a passionate hatred for pews, some even calling them an heretical (yikes) innovation, why then the need for the command to ARISE for the proclamation of the Holy Gospel? Seems redundant in that context?
 

HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

podkarpatska said:
Basil 320 said:
Yes. "Wisdom, arise, let us hear the Holy Gospel..."
An interesting, trick question for our Koine translators or our OCS ones as well. Since many here hold a passionate hatred for pews, some even calling them an heretical (yikes) innovation, why then the need for the command to ARISE for the proclamation of the Holy Gospel? Seems redundant in that context?
Not to be confusing, but the "Stand Up For Prayer" chanted during the Liturgy is not in the context of pews or chairs because such language clearly predates the addition of chairs and pews into the Church, rather it is to call to those who are bowing, kneeling, or lying on the floor prostrated in prayer, and further to choreograph the worship service after the opposite directions have been given sporadically to "Bow for Prayer."

I think the vitriol against pews is a bit of self-righteous pontification, and in the Ethiopian tradition we have a delightful and ancient adaptation for those who hate pews but can't stand up for too long unassisted



Its also a liturgical musical instrument :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

BTRAKAS

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Ah, but while we're told to "arise," our traditional practice is to have our heads bowed during the reading of the Gospel, out of respect for the "Word of God."
 

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HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Ortho_cat said:
augustin717 said:
We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel
even on a sunday?  ???
Yes, we also kneel and prostrate dozens of times on Sundays, hundreds even! (we don't have the Sunday prostration prohibitions of the Eastern Orthodox ;)  )

stay blessed,
habte selassie
that was part of the 1st ecumenical council though wasn't it?
 

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HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Ortho_cat said:
augustin717 said:
We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel
even on a sunday?  ???
Yes, we also kneel and prostrate dozens of times on Sundays, hundreds even! (we don't have the Sunday prostration prohibitions of the Eastern Orthodox ;)  )

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Really? That's interesting. The Coptic Church certainly maintains the ancient and universal tradition of not bending the knee on Sundays or during the Holy 50 (on paper anyways, if not always in practise)... Is it only the Ethiopian tradition that does not follow this, or are there others in the OO community that do not? Do you know at what point in history this practise was changed from the rite received from the Copts, and if particular cultural needs motivated it? Even when kneeling is permitted, we never kneel during the Gospel, but always stand for it. It sounds like an interesting cultural difference.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Jonathan said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Ortho_cat said:
augustin717 said:
We stand at the apostle reading and kneel at the gospel
even on a sunday?  ???
Yes, we also kneel and prostrate dozens of times on Sundays, hundreds even! (we don't have the Sunday prostration prohibitions of the Eastern Orthodox ;)  )

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Really? That's interesting. The Coptic Church certainly maintains the ancient and universal tradition of not bending the knee on Sundays or during the Holy 50 (on paper anyways, if not always in practise)... Is it only the Ethiopian tradition that does not follow this, or are there others in the OO community that do not? Do you know at what point in history this practise was changed from the rite received from the Copts, and if particular cultural needs motivated it? Even when kneeling is permitted, we never kneel during the Gospel, but always stand for it. It sounds like an interesting cultural difference.
My understanding has been that prostrations are allowed and encouraged at all times by EOTC Christians except for the 50 days following Fasika (Pascha). I may be wrong though.


Selam
 

PeterTheAleut

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Hiwot said:
genesisone said:
podkarpatska said:
No one has ever sat in my parish, when I first saw it, I was floored.
Pews are there to keep you off the floor.  ;D
good one! ;D

I think I would be floored as well if I were to see people start to sit during the readings, When I read the question I was like " what?" :)
Good one! :laugh: I'd be floored, too, if I had to sit on the floor. ;D
 

biro

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Alpo said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The only problem is that now I am quite spoiled and will not be used to standing for 5 hours whenever I make it back to our own EOTC Church! lol.
Regular Ethiopian Divine Liturgy takes 5 hours? Because the service is long or because there are lots of communing parishioners?

A Finnish liturgy takes about 2 hours. Some people seem to sit at some point but most people stand the whole service except during the sermons. Somewhere here some people wrote that it's inappropriate to sit on the floor but Finns do if there aren't any pews left.
In my parish, Orthros is about an hour, liturgy is two hours. Mom thinks it's a little bit odd that I like to go to three-hour services.  :)
 

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I have never received instruction on this point, so this is just my observations and my opinion.  In my small OCA parish, practically everyone stands during the Epistle reading, but a few will sometimes sit.  If I am especially tired, I will choose the Epistle reading as a time to sit, but normally stand as an expression of unity of posture with the body of worshippers.  I sing in the choir and read (not ordained, not usually the Epistle, mostly Hours and Psalms), so I am typically standing anyway. At Vespers, I will sometimes sit for the Old Testament reading(s) (if someone else is reading) just because I believe one *should* sit for the OT and Epistle readings.  The reason I believe this is the same as the reason we should sit during the sermon, or if the life of a Saint is being read.  That is the time when we are receiving instruction.  Just as we would sit in a school classroom, we should sit in the classroom of the church.  My perspective is probably influenced by my being a convert from Roman Catholicism, where the universal practice (at least in this country) is to sit during the OT and Epistle, but I think my opinion holds valid for Orthodox worship as well.  The reason we stand during the Gospel, even though it is also instruction, is that the Gospel is in a special way "equivalent" to the Divine Logos, Jesus Christ, more so that the other parts of the Holy Scriptures.  We stand then out of reverence. 

On a related note, in my limited experience with OCA parishes, the general rule that the parishioners use to guide their own postures seems to be "Stand while the Royal Doors are open, sit while they are closed".  However, before I joined the choir at my current parish, I would always stand during Liturgy as long as there was at least one other person standing (usually a grandmother or grandfather with iron feet).  My former priest taught me that it is proper to stand regardless of whether the Doors are open or closed, and in particular it is absurd to sit during a Litany, which makes sense to me. 
 
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