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Umbrella usage in Orthodoxy

umbrella liturgics ombrellino

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#1 Peter Simko

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:07 PM

Hello friends!

First, I ask your forgiveness that I often ask questions that are perhaps of little ultimate consequence, but I am oftentimes truly curious about some of these nonessential items, and I see light in every question you are able to help answer.  Thank you for your love and time.

I am wondering about the use of the umbrella or ombrellino in Eastern Orthodox services.  I have seen them used often in the Ethiopian and Catholic practices, but I do rarely see photos (see below for a photo from Mount Athos) or videos of their use in Eastern Orthodoxy.  Does anyone have any information or experience with these items?  I do find that they can be made beautiful, and I would appreciate anything about their purposes.  Thank you and have a wonderful fast.

 

 

http://media-cache-e...1595a90799e.jpg



#2 Olga

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:38 PM

I must say that in my fifty-odd years in the Church, I've never seen one used in the way shown in the picture. Not even here in southern Australia, where it can get very, very hot in summer. ;)

 

The only time I've seen an umbrella used during a service is at Theophany, when the Great Blessing of Water is conducted outside, when an altarboy holds up an ordinary umbrella to keep the sun of high summer off the fully-vested priest.



#3 Kusanagi

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:27 AM

Not quite on the same level but here in rainy UK, one time someone wanted to offer a bishop an umbrella as we were on a procession and the bishop told him to put it away. :)



#4 Peter Simko

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 02:36 PM

Another use of an umbrella in the Church--this one at Vatopaidi:

 

http://pemptousia.co.../Litania-15.jpg

 

More photos available here:

 

http://pemptousia.co...-vatopedi-2015/



#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 04:48 PM

Umbrellas - representing, I believe, a dome - are much used in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.



#6 Deacon John Martin

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 12:06 PM

It looks like they are being held over an icon while in procession, the same purpose that a cloth canopy would have.



#7 Peter Simko

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 01:04 PM

Yes, Andreas, the pious Ethiopian Orthodox and clergy often use very colorful and elaborately decorated umbrellas, often with very fine embroidery.  My understanding is that these point to their church's attaining the Ark of the Old Covenant.  The umbrella represents God's presence, sort of a visual representation of the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.  In the photos linked-to above, they seem to be serving as type of liturgical fan, protecting the icons from the sun, however, rather than pests.



#8 Peter Simko

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 09:30 PM

It looks like such umbrellas are for sale specifically for protecting icons from the elements during outdoor processions.

http://www.alphaomeg...oths/Umbrellas/







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