Re: Incensation and the Congregation
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, holytransf@... wrote:
> No one is expected to "walk backward" out of the church but,
> passes from one side of the church to the other he should stop atthe middle,
> facing the Holy Doors, sign himself with the Holy Cross, bow towardthe Holy
> Altar and then continue on and also, when leaving the church, beforeexiting the
> nave, turn and face eastward, sign himself with the Holy Cross, andthen turn
> and exit. What is so difficult about that?Father Igumen Joseph is right about this.
I think most people would do this if they were taught to do it. The
Old Believers, who whatever their faults in many ways set a good
example for the rest of us, upon entering resp. leaving the church say
three prayers: "God, be merciful to me a sinner"; "Thou hast created
me; Lord, have mercy on me"; and "I have sinned without measure; Lord,
forgive me", crossing themselves and bowing at each.
And I recall some years ago in Mexico observing how the Catholic
population, whenever they passed a church on the street, would cross
themselves; men would remove their hats when passing the church door.
This was also our custom, and is now much neglected. These practices
are aids to the remembrance of God; it is worth the slight effort it
takes to observe them and teach them. As Fr Joseph says, "What is so
- It is interesting to note that in pre-Nikonian Russian practice
(pre-1655, and still observed by the Old Believers) the temple is not
censed in this manner at all. The priest or deacon stands on the solea
(the raised level area just in front of the Holy Doors) and does the
censing from there. After censing the icons on the iconostasis (as one
does in all the other ethnic traditions), the priest or deacon stands
in the middle of the solea and directs the motion of the censor first
to the image of the Pantocrator in the rotunda, then the processional
icon at the entrance of the right choir, then the people on the right
choir, the left processional icon, the left choir, the left half of
the congregation, the right half of the congregation, then the people
standing in the narthex; he then turns around and re-enters the altar
and finishes up as usual. If the bishop is present, he is censed first
and last when the censing is done outside the altar.
The whole process is not really dramatically different from the Greek
and modern Russian traditions, except that the deacon or priest stands
in one location and points the censor in the direction of the icons
and people, instead of actually making the rounds. Thus, no "sunflower
move" (which pleases me greatly!).
--- In email@example.com, "Steve Robinson" <stevenpaul4@...> wrote:
> Yes, it is called the "sunflower move". :)
> I used to do it because everyone else did it in my former parish,
but was told it is not appropriate, but a lot of parishes somehow end
up doing it and the priests don't correct it.
> Sbdn. Steven
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Daniel Petras
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2008 5:35 AM
> Subject: [ustav] Incensation and the Congregation
> I have seen in some places that when the priest incenses the whole
interior of the Church, they turn and follow him with their eyes. In
this the common custom?
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]